Why do I love routine so much? Well I used to be quite free spirited and out of order sort of person. Luckily with the onset of mommy hood where I received lots of misguided ideas, I got one that was life saving and it is, “Routine is life saver!” If you ask me the best parenting tool I can offer you that is ‘routine’ which I've tried and tested for ten years! It is my sole bridge to sanity when by the end of the day I exhaust all of my mental and physical faculties. Here I’ll quote the exact words from ‘The Toddler Book’ by Sharon Maxwell Magnus and Margaret McAllister:
“Toddlers are not old enough to create their own rituals or understand why some things can be varied but others can’t. Routine helps them to make sense of a world that is largely out of their control, and gives them a feeling of security. This doesn’t mean that every day has to be the same- there just need to be a set time and a set way of doing things such as getting up, going to bed and having meals. (And doing school work, this is my addition :)
You can be more flexible at weekends – then your child will learn the difference between the frantic get-up-and-go of weekday mornings and the relaxation of weekends. But it’s still good to have some anchors at the weekend, such as Sunday lunch and a regular bedtime. (In KSA we can replace Sunday with Saturday and lunch with dinner as most of us prefers to have Saturday brunch.)”
Whether it’s a toddler or a teen, everyone needs a routine! My kids are those ever active, sleep free, lot of chipmunks who get fresher with the onset of night. All the issues are resolved, all the problems get solved and all the rivalries are settled! The only fact which makes them to change into pajamas and get settled in beds is unconscious respect for the routine which they’ve been following since their first year.
Either its bedtime or nap time, study time or play time, routine facilitates things for parents as well as child. Making sure your child has a set routine helps her as she grows up and makes life easier for you, too!