5 Benefits To Structure & Routine For Children
In the midst of school break, with the changes of schedule during the summer, the house can get chaotic. Not only one has to coordinate summer camp and other activities, but also the children seem to forget to do things they used to do on their own… or they want to do them when they want to.
Do you relate?
Whether it is the summer time or another season, many of the unwanted behaviors from our children may decrease by implementing structure and routines. You may be wondering, how are these related?
Structure generates stability for children and as a result, a feeling of safety. With stability and a sense of safety, the ideal platform to raise emotionally intelligent children is created. If you think about it in terms of the adult world, when our jobs lacks order, such as chains of command and protocols and procedures, performance declines and employee satisfaction plummets, right? In a similar fashion, children’s potential to behave well is limited without clear structure and routine.
So, here are 5 benefits to structure and routine for children:
They help reduce power struggles and as a result, the child is more cooperative.
They help children with teaching independence and responsibility.
They help children understand that responsibilities have to be met in order to have fun, and as such, they reduce the dreaded: “I want it and I want to now”
They help children understand the expectations for the day.
It gives parents the opportunity to create valuable and purposeful moments to connect.
So many great benefits!!
Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, practicing some of these practical tips may help your child decrease behavioral issues and gain all of the benefits mentioned above. And if your child already behaves well, these tips may help your child thrive:
Involve your child in creating a comprehensive schedule. Create a weekly schedule that has a combination of responsibilities (school time, homework, after school activities, etc), house chores, family quality time, hygiene, sleep time, and down time. Ideally, create this schedule with your child as this will help your child accept the schedule. The older your child is, the more say he will want to have in his schedule; however, it’s important to make sure that all the components are part of the schedule despite of your child having a say in the creation of it. This is where some choices may be brought up, such as: When do you want to do your homework, before or after dinner? This type of question does not leave “doing homework” as an option, it only allows for the child to decide when to do it. Giving these choices to children allow them to have a sense of control in their lives within the structure that is being given.
Squeeze alone time with each child. If you have more than one child, find creative ways to spend alone time with each. For example, if one goes to bed earlier than the other, then spend some alone time with each child reading a story before going to bed.
Make the schedule visible. Once the schedule is decided and agreed upon with your children, have them write it on a board and decorate it. If they are too young to write, then they will only decorate it. This will create a sense of ownership and pride of the new schedule.
Adjust the schedule if needed and create a new visible schedule each time. Checking the schedule regularly and changing it as needed, is important. In the event an activity is added, school is over, or simply something is not working, sitting down as a family to make changes to the schedule as needed is a good idea.
With all this said and done, this does not mean that your child will not have bad days. As with adults, even in the perfect company with organized hierarchies and clear procedures, there is a human resources department that deals with conflict on a regular basis, right? Well yes, your children will continue to test boundaries, and they might change prompting the need to make adjustments.
There is a quote that goes: “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” What better gift to your children?
Ready to give it a try?
To Your Family Success!
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com and follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/infinitetherapy/