If there’s one new year’s resolution that fails first, it’s probably routines, because it seems so limiting, but routines are a form of security for kids and for adults. When leaving instructions for the sitter, parents try and make sure they have included the details about the routines. Kids feel more comfortable with the same routine. The same is true for adults. When a routine is disrupted, it causes stress, and in times of crisis, it`s often a priority to reestablish a routine. While we like surprises and spontaneity, it`s no wonder having a good routine is a new year`s resolution.
A good routine for kids likely includes getting up with enough time so the morning isn`t rushed, eating nutritious meals, having time for play and outside fun, an appropriate bedtime for enough sleep, and being organized for the day. Children`s sense of time is still developing and, in some places, night arrives almost in the afternoon in the winter. When kids wake up they want it to be morning, no matter what time it is. Clocks that change color for day and night can be very helpful. When the sun shows on the clock, it`s time to get up.
Stories and books are good resources to help kids with routines. Llama llama, wakey wakey, by Anna Dewdney starts the day with wiggles and shakes. The Morning Grumblies: A Book About Waking up Grumpy, by Beau Blackwell might need to be read by some grownups. There are books about getting dressed like Getting Dressed is Fun by Helmut Spanner, but don`t put clothes on like teddy bear–or this daddy. Sometimes, kids like to have a series of pictures that show what to do. Check on line for some colorful printable ones or you can make your own.
Despite their reputation, routines will be a factor in our entire lives. They aid in setting our biological clocks, lower stress, provide a sense of security, and support healthy relationships. Kids need routines emotionally, as well as physically. Is routine one of your new year`s resolutions?