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Powerful Facts: How Does A Routine Benefit Your Child?

Team StoryWeavers|October 11, 2022, 13:26 IST|

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”

― Anthony Robbins

Consistency plays a vital role in our lives. It brings a sense of regularity to our day-to-day lives and helps us do our daily tasks with relative ease. It lends security and predictability to our lives. 

That is why we have routines and schedules – at home and work. In 1992, Working Mother magazine published the article- When, why, and how to get your baby into a routine, by Cassidy. The article states that routines are actions that occur in the “same order and at about the same time each day.” Most parents instinctively realise that their children need daily schedules and take measures to ensure there’s a daily routine that the child follows to develop consistency in their way of living. 

Today, we will take a closer look at how consistency or, in simpler words, routines in early childhood affect children in the long run.

Benefits of daily routine for children 

A consistent daily routine for children helps them anticipate what can be expected during the day. Morning routines, mealtime routines, departure routines, and bedtime routines are examples of everyday routines for children. For example: A morning routine for children consists of waking up on time, brushing teeth, taking a bath, eating breakfast, and leaving for school. 

Here is what experts in the field of education, child development, and parenting say about the importance of routines in a child’s life:

  • Papers published in Parents Magazine by Kase in 1992 titled Discipline for your little ones and Routines to the rescue have spoken about how routines help children establish a sense of predictability and stability. Other articles published by Cassidy and Hall in Working Mother and Parents Magazine respectively elaborate on how routines help children feel secure. 
  • David Pruitt, M.D., is the former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He wrote a book for Harper Collins called Your Child: What Every Parent Needs to Know, where he says that routines may help preschool and primary school children learn self-control by reducing impulsivity and overactivity. 
  • As per the book Positive discipline for preschoolers, published in 1998, routines lower the parent-child conflict. Another article, Little moments that mean a lot, published in 1991 by Berg states that routines also foster positive parent-child interactions. 
  • In 1999, Snyder’s article Teacher knows best says that routines make parents feel calmer and more relaxed. Hogan stated in his 1994 article, Nag nag nag! routines seemed to bring down the parental nagging. 

In a paper published in Pediatric Clinics of North America, Edward Christophersen talks about some tips for making routines for your child. These tips focus on making a clear order for doing tasks, defining the rules clearly, giving consistent consequences for not doing the task, and praising them for trying. 

Why are routines important in early childhood education?

We have established that daily routines are good for children, but do they need to be a part of their early experiences? 

Here’s what some experts have to say:

  • A book titled From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, published in 2000, edited by paediatrician Jack Shonkoff and psychologist Deborah Phillips, says that children’s early experiences lay the groundwork for lifelong learning and development.
  • Another book called G is for genes: The impact of genetics on education and achievement, authored by Kathryn Asbury and Robert Plomin, states that early experiences can vary greatly depending on where a child lives, grows up and learns. Small variations in the behaviour and interactions between a child and their parents, caregivers, or educators can also affect them.
  • Many published papers say that there is strong evidence that such high-quality early learning experiences benefit children’s cognitive, linguistic, and social growth in the short and long term, especially for children from underprivileged backgrounds. (Campbell et al., 2008; Fox & Geddes, 2016; Melhuish et al., 2015; Ramey & Ramey, 2005; Taggart et al., 2015).
  • In 2006, Hemmeter et al. published a paper in School Psychology Review called “Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: A Conceptual Model for Intervention.” The paper says that teaching children routines and expectations, offering clear guidance and feedback, and structuring the social and physical environment boosts the child’s involvement and reduces problem behaviours.
  • According to another paper by Burchinal, Peisner-Feinberg, Pianta, and Howes that was published in the Journal of School Psychology in 2002, setting up a high-quality social and physical early childhood environment leads to higher levels of child engagement and fewer difficult behaviours. 

How to maximise the benefits of routine for your child?

Consistently following a set routine helps children in many ways.  Have you ever thought of maximising those benefits? 

We did and found interesting suggestions:

  • Tip 1: Get your child involved in making the routine.

A paper published by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government in 2018 tells us that having children take part in their education gives them more power. It could help them do better academically. Letting children choose what and how they study helps them develop a growth mindset and lifetime learning habits. 

  • Tip 2: Help the child understand the importance of deliberate practice.

Anders Ericsson and his co-author Robert Pool in their book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise explain the concept of deliberate practice. It includes sustaining an intense focus, pushing oneself beyond one’s comfort zone, getting real-time feedback, recognising one’s weak areas, and creating practice routines that are tailored to strengthen those shortcomings. 

  •  Tip 3: Teach the child to prioritise learning and not performance.

In a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, titled Goals: An approach to motivation and achievement, Elaine Elliott and Carol Dweck share that children who have learning goals are determined to get better over time as opposed to those with performance goals. They are also more resilient when it comes to learning from their mistakes or facing problems.

Overall, consistent practice and routines benefit children and parents alike. By making BYJU’S a part of your child’s daily routine, you can help your child set the right goals in their studies and become a lifelong learner ready to face any challenge.

With the in-app library, digital worksheets, live dashboards, study plans, and monthly progress reports, BYJU’S wants to make it easy for you to be more consistent and involved in your child’s learning.

Together, let’s make the young generation of learners fall in love with learning.

About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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