Routines and Schedules - December 2020

The secret to life is to be able to adjust or as we say now in 2020, pivot! COVID-19 has led many of us to experience a loss of structure, routine and even meaning in daily life. Experiencing a pandemic is uncharted territory. We have been tasked with “adjusting” in all facets of life. Our health and well-being are significantly affected by constantly adding, eliminating or re-defining our roles, habits and routines. This holds true for both adults and children. Therefore, routines are more important than ever right now. So, what are the benefits of having a routine? 

  1. Provides us with a predictable framework that supports the flow of our day. When events happen in the same order every day, children have a better understanding of their world, and therefore are more secure.
  2. Enables us to prioritize what we do across the day and therefore encourages us to build in time to do what matters to us. A regular schedule fosters responsibility and independence because children will be able to perform more activities on their own if they have done the same activities many times before in the same environment.
  3. Predictable routines may provide a sense of calm and stability. Children (and adults) feel the most secure when their lives are predictable.
  4. Improves time management. Our mind is at ease when we know where we need to be and what is expected of us. A regular schedule gives children a way to order and organize their lives. When young children know what to expect, they become more confident in both themselves and the world around them. 

Repetition helps us develop beneficial habits. Routines can be a way of teaching younger children healthy habits, like brushing their teeth, getting some exercise or washing their hands after using the toilet and before eating.