Stop the Nagging. Create a ROUTINE. In this episode, discover why routine is important for children of all ages and how you can create a routine for your child to be successful.
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Transcript for Stop Nagging. Create a Routine.
Welcome Impactful Parents. Today we are going to talk about how to create a routine for your school-aged child.
Hello, my name is Kristina Campos. I am the founder of the Impactful Parent. Every week I come on and answer one of your questions LIVE. If you have a question for next week, please submit it at firstname.lastname@example.org or by messaging me on social media. All submissions are kept anonymous.
Today’s question reads: When our kids are babies, everyone tells you how important routine is for them. What about when your child is elementary school age? Or Middle school? Does routine become less important as children get older, and what does it look like beyond the toddler years?
Thank you for submitting this question! Today I will tell you why routine is important for your child at all developmental stages, and stick around to the end because I am giving you tips for creating a routine to be a more impactful parent. Let’s get started!
First of all, routine is incredibly important for your school-aged child because of 3 main things: Routine provides security, helps with behavior problems, and teaches growing adolescents time management skills. (Among other awesome benefits too.)
When children or adolescents have a routine, they feel more secure about their environment. There is predictability in their day, and this, in turn, makes them less anxious and reduces stress. It might sound silly, but routine creates the security that kids need to feel safe with you. You aren’t this unpredictable creature that will throw something unexpected at them that they can’t handle or that they don’t like. Routine makes kids feel safe. When you establish a routine with your child, you will also create a bond with them that a chaotic and disruptive household simply does NOT have.
Routine also alleviates many behavior problems that can arise, especially as your child gets older into their teen years and wants to assert their independence. Routine is the foundation for making your expectations clear and known. Once you need your child to do a certain task, for example, clean their room or do their homework, parents should set up a particular time and day for their child to accomplish the expectation. When a task becomes routine instead of sporadic, it doesn’t feel like a chore for the child to accomplish because it is simply part of their day. Parents will also get less push-back, arguments, and it increases the likelihood of your child being successful.
Lastly, the third reason you want to implement a routine in your house is to teach your child to become a responsible adult. Yep, routine teaches children time management skills and basic work skills to get things done. As they become middle school and high school students, this is increasingly more important, as their workload gets bigger. They have to learn to multi-task activities. Routine teaches kids responsibility and prioritization.
So how do parents implement routines in their homes? Well, start by writing down everything you want your child to do every day and every week. Make a list of activities and find a time and day for each thing. The hardest part of a routine is not making these lists and choosing the time. The difficult part is creating stability and consistency for your child. This is where most parents falter. Things come up, and life gets busy, but just like when your child was a baby, and you had to rearrange your day around nap time, parents of school-aged children need to prioritize the routine in their home. Yes, you’ll need to inconvenience your own schedule, needs, and wants for the greater good of your child’s routine. It sucks, I know, but it is important. For example, if you want your child to do their homework with integrity, you need to provide the space for your child to succeed. It is difficult for growing brains who don’t have the executive functioning skills to do their homework at random times and in different locations. Kids need consistency and routine to be the most successful. This goes for any task that you want your child to do on an ongoing basis. Let’s take, for example, bedtime. Many parents don’t give their teens a bedtime routine. Why? Well, they feel like they are old enough to bathe, brush their teeth, and put themselves to sleep. A consistent bedtime routine will help your child keep better hygiene and help set your teenager’s biological clock to know when it’s time to sleep. So monitoring and helping your teenager keep a bedtime routine can be very beneficial. Otherwise, they may go to bed at 9pm one day, 11pm the next day, and only brush their teeth on occasion…
As your child gets older, you want them to assert their independence and do things themselves. However, they still need your monitoring to keep them honest and on schedule. I suggest rewarding your child for routines well done. You can also make their routine visual. For younger children, create a chart for them to use, and for older children, teach them how to use a daily planner or even calendar reminders on their phone. Help your child include down-time as part of their routine, put upcoming assignments on their calendar, and even put family time on their schedule too. The more predictable their day can be, the less stress and anxiety they will have. There is a lot of hand-holding and monitoring at the beginning of implementing a new routine. Still, with practice and by starting early when your child is young, you will be able to see the benefits of a good routine for years to come.
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