It seems a bit ridiculous to think that my two-year-old needs a schedule and a routine, but oddly enough, she does. After one too many days letting her hang around the house in pj’s until nearly noon – because why not? – I started to realize we were getting lazy. Both of us were cranky anytime we actually needed to be somewhere first thing in the morning. And asking her to brush her teeth and get dressed before 9 am was a serious struggle.
It was an easy non-routine to get into – I work mostly from home, it’s not like she goes to school yet, who were we trying to impress? But it seemed like it was time for a change, even just on a trial basis. So for one week, we ate breakfast like civilized people at the kitchen table instead of the couch, and immediately after brushed our teeth, got dressed, and took the dogs for a walk. We were generally home and done all of this by 9 am; which is when I set her up with colouring or play-dough and settle myself down at the computer to start working.
We were happier, we were cleaner and ready to take on the world at a reasonable hour, and the dogs were stoked. Why hadn’t I done this sooner? No, I won’t be scheduling out my toddler’s day hour by hour, BUT having a pretty established morning and evening routine has made a huge difference. It turns out she’s thriving on it – and she’s not the only one. There’s a few pretty great benefits that come from giving your kids a routine.
Helps them get on a schedule
Being on time is important and it’s a skill we have to teach our kids. School starts at the same time every day. One day they’ll be old enough to get jobs, and perpetual lateness can be a real deal-breaker. Learning the concept and importance of time at an early age helps set kids up for success later in life. And encouraging them to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning helps will likely lead to a better sleep for them, and for you. Win-win!#routines help your kids get on a #schedule. Important now and very important later in life! Click To Tweet
Gets rid of ugly power struggles
I hate feeling like a nagging mom. I don’t want to have to boss my kid around all day – “Brush your teeth!”, “Come eat your dinner!”, “It’s time to put pants on!” When each activity happens at the same time every day, children will eventually fall into a routine. My daughter knows that every night after dinner is bath time, without needing constant reminders.
Introduces the concept of “looking forward” to things
It’s a big concept for little minds, but being able to anticipate a part of the routine that they like is pretty amazing. My daughter knows that in the afternoon is her and my time to play, go to the park, do whatever she wants. She has a better understanding that if she follows the routine nicely all morning, the afternoon is all hers.
So, even though it’s just a rough framework, I’d say our new routine and schedule are working out fantastically. I’m going to be thrown for a real loop when I’ve got to get her to school on time – but let’s leave that for future me to deal with : )