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Dai­ly rou­tines are vital for main­tain­ing the phys­i­cal, men­tal and emo­tion­al health of chil­dren and families. A strong dai­ly rou­tine can form deep­er ties between all fam­i­ly mem­bers and pro­mote har­mo­ny, as well as cre­at­ing a sense of com­fort and belonging. An effec­tive rou­tine is well planned, caters to chil­dren of dif­fer­ent age groups, is applied con­sis­tent­ly and is high­ly ben­e­fi­cial dur­ing the good times and in times of chal­lenge and uncertainty.

1- Rise and shine

Chil­dren of all ages need suf­fi­cient sleep. Estab­lish a famil­iar sleep rou­tine from an ear­ly age and adapt the hours as the chil­dren grow, but ensure that chil­dren are get­ting the sleep they need. Young chil­dren need sleep to grow and thrive, to devel­op their immune sys­tem and to con­tin­ue smil­ing and being their charm­ing selves. Be patient and make an effort to set a sleep rou­tine from an ear­ly age, as it will ben­e­fit the baby, and even give you some pre­cious moments of peace and relax­ation in the long run.

2- Storytime

Sleep time can fol­low sto­ry­time. Read­ing to chil­dren every night before bed improves a child’s lit­er­a­cy, strength­ens the bond between the child and the par­ent, and helps them to relax before sleep­ing. It can also be used as motivation. ‘You must brush your teeth before you can read a book’ is a pop­u­lar refrain among par­ents. Remem­ber also; every­body loves being read to, so con­tin­ue this rou­tine as your chil­dren grow, or have them read to you.

3- Splash, splash!

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daily routine for kids l daily schedule for kids l routine for kids l kids morning routine l morning routine for kids

Bath times pro­mote health and hygiene, and for young chil­dren can even be turned into fun. It is also vital that old­er chil­dren and teenagers con­tin­ue this dai­ly habit. Even though teenage boys seem to take pride in see­ing how long they can last with­out task­ing a wash, it is impor­tant to remind them of the need for hygiene, for their sake and the sake of any­one in the same room. This rule extends to clean­ing a child’s pri­vate space, so hav­ing kids clean their rooms prop­er­ly on a set sched­ule is also useful.

4- “Mum, I’m hungry.”

daily routine for kids l daily schedule for kids l routine for kids l kids morning routine l morning routine for kids

daily routine for kids l daily schedule for kids l routine for kids l kids morning routine l morning routine for kids

No mat­ter how well you plan your dai­ly rou­tines and meal­times, you will always hear this com­plaint. How­ev­er, reg­u­lar and expect­ed meal times can help kids to fill their tum­mies and stop nag­ging their par­ents for more food. Plus, meals in which all fam­i­ly mem­bers sit down to eat togeth­er are proven to increase fam­i­ly har­mo­ny, pro­mote con­ver­sa­tion and increase phys­i­cal and emo­tion­al wellbeing. Tak­ing turns to cook is anoth­er effec­tive rou­tine, and dai­ly chores such as this teach chil­dren to become more inde­pen­dent, accept more respon­si­bil­i­ty, learn valu­able life skills and remem­ber that they belong in their house­hold. Shar­ing chores such as cook­ing might even nur­ture an award-win­ning chef. Plus, imag­ine not hav­ing to cook every night…

5- It’s not fair!

Have you heard this com­plaint from your chil­dren? Per­haps when you asked them to com­plete a chore, but did not ask their sib­lings to do the same. Chil­dren have an acute sense of jus­tice and fair­ness, and even if the injus­tice is sim­ply per­ceived, they will complain. One way to avoid con­flict over house­hold tasks or oth­er deci­sions that have to be made dai­ly is to have an allo­cat­ed and vis­i­ble schedule. This sched­ule out­lines who does what around the house and can help every­one to feel that they are being treat­ed fair­ly while con­tribut­ing to the fam­i­ly. Take the stress out of house­hold chores.

6- Hit the books

daily routine for kids l daily schedule for kids l routine for kids l kids morning routine l morning routine for kids

As chil­dren grow old­er, they will need to study more often and will learn more with a strong routine. Pro­mote pos­i­tive study habits from a young age to enforce the impor­tance of learn­ing and help your chil­dren achieve aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly. Chil­dren take pride in learn­ing and achiev­ing, and can great­ly boost their self-esteem with pos­i­tive aca­d­e­m­ic results. Clear a space where chil­dren can study, check-in on their home­work and assign­ments, and encour­age them to make a plan or sched­ule for study­ing, to adapt this as they grow.

7- Home study

If chil­dren are not able to attend school dur­ing nor­mal hours for any rea­son, a sol­id and estab­lished rou­tine is even more important. Chil­dren will be far more relaxed and com­fort­able if they can fol­low an exist­ing rou­tine dur­ing times of change. Par­ents can try to encour­age their chil­dren to wake up and fol­low the nor­mal process for get­ting ready for a school day, to study and do aca­d­e­m­ic activ­i­ties for the same amount of time as a typ­i­cal school day. Pri­ma­ry school stu­dents can do sim­i­lar activ­i­ties at sim­i­lar times as school. For exam­ple, if they do writ­ing or paint­ing at a par­tic­u­lar time every day, they can do it at the same time at home. Sec­ondary school stu­dents should be able to do this more eas­i­ly, as they can refer to their timetable and do His­to­ry, or Chem­istry or Geog­ra­phy at the same time on the same day. Some experts on home­school­ing and work­ing from home even sug­gest wear­ing the same clothes at home that one would wear to work or school. So, if your child wears a school uni­form, tell them to put it on to study at home. It may sound strange, but it might also make your child study. Get­ting teenagers to study can be as dif­fi­cult as get­ting them off their phone, drag­ging them out of bed or pre­vent­ing them from raid­ing the fridge. How­ev­er, it is imper­a­tive to nego­ti­ate and dis­cuss effec­tive rou­tines with teenagers so that they can cope with the uncer­tain­ties and chal­lenges of adolescence. Involve them in the cre­ation of the rou­tine, mon­i­tor their adher­ence to the rou­tine and adapt the rou­tine if nec­es­sary. A study plan, with days, times and sub­jects list­ed, is one exam­ple of a use­ful aca­d­e­m­ic routine.

8- All work and no play…

Of course, chil­dren need to play. Make time for them to be chil­dren and to laugh, run, jump, throw, cre­ate and be silly. Being stuck inside on a rainy day or dur­ing cer­tain times makes this more dif­fi­cult, but hun­dreds of ideas exist online for indoor or back­yard activ­i­ties. Join in, and you might dis­cov­er that you are a gift­ed artist, a won­der­ful singer, a tal­ent­ed foot­baller or a mas­ter builder. Even if you’re not, you will have shared an expe­ri­ence with your child. Every child ben­e­fits from a rou­tine, which helps them to stay orga­nized and to feel more cer­tain about what the day ahead will bring. Even dur­ing events such as mov­ing house, a death in the fam­i­ly, a divorce or oth­er unex­pect­ed occur­rence, rou­tines can pro­vide chil­dren and adults with assur­ance and comfort.

daily routine for kids l daily schedule for kids l routine for kids l kids morning routine l morning routine for kids

- Routine or ritual?

Do your chil­dren jump into the swim­ming pool in their uni­form to cel­e­brate the last day of school? Do you send your kids on a trea­sure hunt to find their birth­day present? Do you eat a par­tic­u­lar food at cer­tain times of the week or year? These are all exam­ples of rit­u­als, which can cre­ate excite­ment and shared expe­ri­ences that bring fam­i­lies together. Par­ents can cre­ate rit­u­als, or they can be invent­ed by chil­dren and repeat­ed reg­u­lar­ly – or they can just emerge organ­i­cal­ly. Sure, they may have to be mod­i­fied, such as cel­e­brat­ing a birth­day via the inter­net rather than in per­son but find­ing cre­ative ways to over­come an obsta­cle can be half the fun. Cher­ish these rit­u­als and do every­thing you can to con­tin­ue them, even dur­ing times of hard­ship or dras­tic change. Rit­u­als are typ­i­cal­ly fun and joy­ful and can cre­ate famil­iar­i­ty and com­fort dur­ing uncer­tain times. Rou­tines can also free up time for par­ents and help them to feel that their house­hold is orga­nized, cre­at­ing a gen­uine feel-good fac­tor. In a busy life, the rou­tine allows you to feel more orga­nized and on top of every­thing, which reduces stress.

daily routine for kids l daily schedule for kids l routine for kids l kids morning routine l morning routine for kids

- Common Features of Effective Routines

Dai­ly rou­tines will dif­fer for each fam­i­ly, but there are three key fea­tures of any good dai­ly routine.

A — Well planned

Think ahead so that every fam­i­ly mem­ber knows what will hap­pen and what is expect­ed of them. Tell chil­dren in advance that they will have to com­plete chores or help wash the beach gear after a day at the beach.

B — Regular

Your rou­tines will become a nor­mal part of dai­ly life because they hap­pen at reg­u­lar times, and can even become so auto­mat­ic that fam­i­ly mem­bers hard­ly real­ize they are doing them.

C — Predictable

That includes every­thing from pack­ing a school bag and hav­ing the school uni­form ready on Sun­day night, to order­ing piz­za and choos­ing the week­ly movie on Fri­day night. Chil­dren will also ben­e­fit from receiv­ing pock­et mon­ey on the same day every week, or from know­ing when it is their turn to walk the dog.

Finally!

Dai­ly rou­tines are extreme­ly ben­e­fi­cial to chil­dren and par­ents and can be estab­lished and fol­lowed with some plan­ning. The rou­tines should be well-planned, reg­u­lar and pre­dictable, and can pro­mote well­be­ing in uncer­tain times.
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