Childcare Family Parenting

Why your child needs routines

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Find out why a routine is important for your child and how to create a schedule for them.

Creating a routine and an atmosphere of structure sets your little ones up for success. We break it down and look into the hows and whys of it…

Emotional stability

Children that grow up with a set routine and schedule are more likely to be emotionally stable. Children like to know what’s coming up next and what’s happening in their day to day lives. Homes without routines, are more likely to cause stress in children which can lead to them having trouble adjusting to routines in school.

A sense of security

Providing an environment where children feel safe and loved, is one of the biggest parts of parenting. If for example, bedtime is at 8pm every night and then all of sudden it’s at 9pm and then the next night bedtime is at 7pm, this will be confusing to your child. Children like to know what to expect, this is what creates a sense of security in their lives.

Visual charts

Visual charts can come in many different types. Things like posters, index cards, or calendars can be used. Begin by writing out your daily schedule, making sure to separate your day into chunks of time. For each section of time you can draw pictures to represent each block of time, or if you really want to promote literacy you can also write out what each picture represents.


Songs are a fun and exciting way to engage with your little ones. Make ones that rhymes to work on preliteracy skills or one that’s just fun to sing. For example, a clean-up song can be sang to encourage your little one to put their toys away.

Talk to your child

Seems pretty obvious, right? But it’s often a forgotten step when we are having a busy day, trying to get a million things done. Make sure you take the time out to explain what you are doing and where you are in the daily routine. It helps to make your child more mindful of the schedule and makes it important to them because it’s important to you. It doesn’t need to be a drawn out lecture. Something as simple as, “We just had breakfast, and now it’s play time,” will do the trick.

Be consistent

This is probably the most important step in creating routines for your household. If you are not consistent with the schedule, it will not work. Also, be ready for you children to call you out when you do something out of the normal. Anything as simple as reading a story before bed every night, is something that your child will grow to look forward to. They are more observant than we think, and consistency is key in establishing routines for them and for you.