Do kids need routine?

1. a customary or regular course of procedure.
2. commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity: the routine of an office.
3. regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure.

When our children are babies we spend ages working out an easy way to do things, a set pattern to make things easier/simplier.

Lets face it they don’t come with manuals after all.
We work to patterns we are taught,  told and we learn as we go along.  Muddle through, mess up,  make our mistakes and learn from them, we find our own way and we form our own routines which work for us.
Our children do the same as they learn from us.
I work best when I have a schedule, a rough one but a schedule none the less. I like to know what I’m doing and when I’m doing it, I always have.  I don’t like unplanned bumps in the road as it causes too much confusion.
My kids are the same.  They are very like me, Emmy more so as she is older and understands more.  She asks what we are doing in the morning or even before she goes to bed the night before.
She asks who we will be seeing, where we are going and for how long.  She plans in her head what she wants to do and she likes to roughly stick to it. So if she has been told she can feed the ducks she will want to rain or shine and sulks for ages if not allowed.  Now she isn’t being naughty with this, seeking attention, she just can’t understand change.
If we go to the shops for something she has chosen for dinner and they don’t have it, it upsets her because she has to change her plans again. She is not a brat crying in the supermarket because she hasn’t gotten her own way, she is crying because she can’t understand why she can’t have what she has chosen, what we have planned and why it had to be changed.
I do the same. If I’ve been wanting toast for breakfast and we have no bread I won’t have cereal, I’ll strop until I’ve got bread (or Paul has) and have my toast even if it’s lunchtime by then.
Slightly OCD in ours ways but that’s us. Like it or not we need our routine. And it works for us.
I’m finding now more than ever we are needing to stick to our routine as now Emmy is at Nursery things are changing for her. Its a scary time and she has begun having nightmares. Not about school but since she started school.
She goes in happily and loves it while there however when home flits between very naughty and very clingy.   Having a chat as we do recently she told me she didn’t like it different.   She couldn’t explain what she meant but I knew just then how like me she is.

She compains of tummy ache all the time when worried.  If your explaining something to her and it’s about somewhere new or if I’m explaining the Daddy or I are going out she sobs and develops a tummy ache. I know she is fine with no pain, and I know she isn’t saying it to be naughty and get out of doing something……..I know because I did the same when little. It’s a coping mechanism a way of changing the situation to a comfortable one (in Emmys case cuddling Mummy on the sofa).
To combat the naughty behaviour after school at the moment we are sticking to routine more than ever.  Keeping things constant and working on a reward system.  This is working. It was very needed as ig had been taking Emmy over 2 hours to go to bed, this means barely any evening time for me and Paul and an over tired grumpy girl the next day.  9pm for a 3 year old was too late. We needed to curb the over excitement at bedtimes, have wind down and quiet times again, stories then bed. 
We always did this before however since she started school we had been a little lax on bedtimes as we had missed her during the day. She proved again how mich she prefers routine.
Keeping to this will definitely help and it is helping already. Last night she was asleep at 7.40pm and is still asleep 12 hours later.  Whereas when she goes to sleep at 9pm so wakes at 6am geumpy and tired still.
So do kids need routine?  Mine do and at the moment more so than ever!

6 thoughts on “Do kids need routine?

  1. Yes, kids need routine – and their parents do as well! As long as there is flexibility within the routine – no point getting stressed because a bedtime or supper time is late every now and then – it has to be the best way. All the kids I know who have a good routine – including my 3 year old – are good sleepers and don't throw many tantrums.

  2. Yes – my kids certainly need routine. Obviously there are times when we have to tweak it slightly, but as a rule the routine is always there, and we all feel better for it!

  3. They certainly do! Mine have always had a routine at bedtime and as such have slept well all night since 3 months old. They are 5.5 and 2.5 years old now. They got themselves into their own routine as babies (we a little help from me).

  4. I think mine tend to need it too. A few days out of routine is fine, but if it goes for too long they are glad to get back to their routine so they all know what to expect

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