Structure and routine are so vital for children. It might not sound like a lot of fun when you say it, but the more structure and the more routine your children have in their life, the happier and more well-adjusted they will be. Children who know what to expect and know what is expected of them are more likely to behave well and do what is expected without throwing a fit. Here are a few reasons why providing your child with a structured routine is so imperative.
When a child is engrossed in a routine, her behavior is much better than a child who does not have a routine. The reasons for this vary significantly. Sometimes it’s simply because a good routine includes ample time for naps and sleep, providing your child with the ability to get the much-needed rest required of children her age. Sometimes it is because children simply like to know what to expect and they are comfortable when they know what’s going on in their life. Either way, behavior in children with routines is medically proven better than children who do not live with consistency.
When a child knows that this is just what is done at this time of each day, power struggles are minimal. For example, if your child understands that being tucked in and going to sleep is simply what happens after bath time, story time and toothbrush time, chances are good that she will not throw a fit when it’s time to go to bed. On the other hand, if your nightly routine is nonexistent, you might find that your child throws a tantrum and refuses to go to bed each night. This type of power struggle is not uncommon in households in which routine is not consistent, and it’s usually to blame on the lack of consistency.
Believe it or not, kids whose schedules consist of a scheduled routine promote better health. The reason for this is that routine is more likely to consist of healthy habits. When a child who isn’t used to routine throws a tantrum when it’s time to eat vegetables or brush teeth or go to bed on time, many parents settle. They don’t want to deal with the tantrum their child is throwing so they throw in the towel, “FINE! I’ll let you skip the vegetables/toothbrush/bedtime tonight but tomorrow night you’re doing what I say!” Then tomorrow happens the same way.