As a young child’s brain is still in the development stage, the child is still developing a sense of time (and organizing it into hours and minutes). This is one reason why structure works to effectively on young children, and it’s why having the same schedule every day is so often emphasized in elementary education. In order to help build structure into your children’s lives, it’s important to help them develop routines that they’ll get used to practicing at the same time on a daily basis. Here are five important routines that you’ll want to help your children develop as habit from a young age.
Brushing their teeth
Considering the fact that a whopping one in four adults doesn’t brush at least twice a day, getting your kids into the habit of brushing their teeth regularly (and for the recommended amount of time) from a young age is ultra-important. This includes helping them navigate how to still brush their teeth even when they find themselves without one (which is all-too-common if your children ever go to sleep-over at friends’ houses)—so that they don’t ever find reason to skip brushing their teeth. This article offers some suggestions for what to do when you find yourself without a toothbrush.
Getting ready in the morning
Along with helping instill in your children a strong habit of brushing teeth, it’s a good idea to help them develop a regular morning routine as well. This should be a well rounded routine that will involve, for example, brushing first thing in the morning, eating a nutritious breakfast, putting on clothing that was laid out the night before, and getting school things together before heading out the door. The regularity of the routine will help streamline the process of getting ready in the morning, instill wholesome habits of brushing teeth and eating well, and—perhaps most importantly—it can help instill punctuality as you and your child leave at the same early time each morning.
Studying is another habit that many children are lacking in as they progress through schooling, as it is often expected of them to develop their own study habits for test prep. A great way to introduce them to consistent, daily studying is to practice various methods of studying with them. You might, for example, teach them how to create flashcards for their vocabulary words, and then show them how to find practice math problems to work on when preparing for a math test. Help your children develop diligent study routines that start the moment they get home from school. This article about avoiding paper writing procrastination offers some great insights on how to avoid putting off writing so that studying after school can become routine for your children.
This is one routine that you yourself might have to put some extra effort into developing. Some of the most bonding family experiences happen around the dinner table, so it’s great to develop a home routine where the family gathers around the dinner table at a semi-regular time each day. This is a great time to have family conversations, teach dinner etiquette, and teach table manners (such as not using phones at the table).
Getting ready for bed
Similar to the routine of getting ready in the morning, it’s a good idea to help your children develop a regular routine for getting ready for bed. Your children might, for example, shower each night after dinner, then brush their teeth, and then read for about 30 minutes before going to sleep. Developing this routine will help your children develop a strong sense of self-hygiene, and the regularity of the routine could even help them fall asleep faster.
Weekly chores are another at-home routine that you’ll want to develop a schedule for with your children. It’s often a good idea to create a “chore chart” where tasks, and the child who performs each task, differs by week. Find a system that works for your household, and soon your children will already be preparing for eventually living out on their own.
This article offers some suggestions for what to do when you find yourself without a toothbrush.