Does your child resist leaving the house when it’s time? What about brushing their teeth before bed? Is your child having tantrums about screen time limits? Maybe it’s time to adopt a family daily routine.
A consistent routine creates predictability in your your child’s day. They may not have fully internalized a 24-hour day and 7-day week, but when meals, snacks, naps, and bedtime happen around the same time they have predictable anchor points to their days. That predictability makes children feel safe and secure. Rather than being rigid, flexible routines help children adapt to change and transitions.
Moreover, a predictable and consistent routine helps create a system of regulation around your child. Because children are still developing self-regulation, external regulation in the form of a routine is supportive of their ongoing development.
And finally, a predictable and consistent routine increases family bonding and connection. Routines and rhythms naturally create family rituals and traditions — things like Friday pizza and movie night become special to your family.
- Ashley Soderlund Ph.D.