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Why are routines so important to children?

two siblings and mom reading a book

Key points:
1. Routines foster self-control by providing children with a sense of security and predictability.
2. They promote positive behavior and teach responsible behaviors.
3. Routines help children develop social skills and enhance language development.
4. They make transitions easier for children, reducing surprises and stress.

We’ve already talked about how important routines are for our babies and kids, and that they provide a sense of safety and predictability. But how exactly do routines help our children and why are they so helpful for them?

1) They foster the development of self-control
Knowing what comes next gives children security and emotional stability, making them feel more in control. For example, knowing that every day dinner-time comes after playing, will allow your little one to play, explore, and learn without worrying, and when it’s time for dinner they’ll be expecting it.


2) They promote positive behavior
Routines are like a set of steps that guide children towards certain goals. This can help to ensure children’s safety and help them learn responsible behaviors. For example, to always hold your hand when walking in the street or to say “please” when asking for something they want.

3) They help children develop social skills
These repetitive behaviors help children understand how social interactions work. Little by little, they start to learn the patterns of social relations and the things that play an important role in them, like sharing, taking turns, and cooperating. Plus, engaging in social routines can also boost children’s language skills!

4) They make it easier to handle transitions
Changing from one activity to another is not easy for children. However, having a set routine for daily activities makes the transition easier. For example, an afternoon routine can be playing, having dinner, brushing teeth, putting on the pajamas, reading a story, and going to bed. This lets children know what comes next, so when playtime is over it doesn’t come as a surprise for them.

5) They provide opportunities to learn
While adults might find them boring sometimes, for children, everyday routines are great and fun learning tools. Tell your little one a story about their day! This will help them be aware of their experiences and feelings, making sense of the events in their life.

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