The value of a routine

… this doesn’t mean you can't be flexible!

The value of a routine

As an Early Childhood Educator, I see the value of having established routines in a classroom and as a Mum of three busy boys, I see the necessity for a harmonious home. This does not suggest I don’t see the value in being flexible and spontaneous, just that a basic routine offers a sense of calm and a sense of belonging for all of us but especially our children.

I believe having a routine provides emotional stability especially for young children. A sense of belonging allows our children to feel confident enough to engage, explore and play. When children understand what comes next, they feel in control and even our youngest children can quickly understand the routine.

This doesn’t mean that every part of your day must be scheduled and that you or your child have to miss out because the routine says you should be doing one thing at that specific time.

Start small, maybe just establishing a morning routine. For our family, like many, our mornings can be chaotic and not the pleasant start to the day that I always dreamt my own little family would have. I thought we would eat together, be all dressed and organized long before needing to leave and then part with sharing “I love you” and “have a wonderful day” messages. I know, what was I thinking!  Two teenage boys and a 6-year-old who loves to sleep like his teenage brothers meant that our mornings were hectic, disorganised and stressful. I felt like I did not quite catch my breath until I dropped the last child at school.

I have learnt that when our family feels a little out of control, reflecting on our routine and making some changes always helps. Having bags packed and ready the night before, uniforms organised, breakfast at the same time and no technology or tv until we are completely ready, really helps and so that’s all it is when I suggest establishing a routine. For little ones, bedtime can be challenging so you might start there, ensuring you have a consist time for bed and the process is the same each night. Visuals also help and if you are a Fit Kidz family, on your Storypark account, you will find a link to an example you can use at home. It takes time but you will be surprised how quickly it can help your child and your family.

I just have a few words of warning and something I regularly share with our wonderful Educators and remind myself to consider as a Mum too. If we see our routine as a job or a list of tasks that need to be ticked off a To Do list, we are in danger of missing valuable moments to see the joy and nurture a child’s wellbeing. Reminding myself to “be in the moment” helps me to do this.

Wish me luck as we head back into the school routine, I remain positive but having spent the last few weeks trying to drag teenagers out of bed before lunch, I am not sure we will be the perfect model family for good routines but hey, we are always working on it.

I will leave you with this quote from the wonderful Maggie Dent.

“Aim to be that parent 80% of the time and allow yourself to be the imperfect parent who mucks up the other 20% of the time. Be grateful for the gift of life and be a positive part of the ‘village’ – the community around you that helps to raise your children with you.”

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Mel

Melissa Scaife, Mother of 3 children and owner of Fit Kidz Learning Centres.

All stories by: Mel