For all the parents out there who are enjoying the last few days of summer, indulging in long, warm evenings and days absent of a normal routine with the children, it’s time to switch gears and start thinking about back-to-school and all this entails. Not only do school supplies need to be purchased, pencils sharpened and the first day of school outfits picked out, but we also need to switch our mindset to that of routine and start to get ours and our children’s internal clocks geared towards structure. This will come quite easily for older children who have some experience under their belt, but for the little guys who are just starting their school career, routine is especially important.
Here are some key reasons why this is.
Routine can help children navigate uncertainty and change, allowing them to emotionally prepare for things to come. If children know what is expected of them and when they are meant to be somewhere or doing something, they won’t be caught off guard or surprised by the event, giving them a sense of security and control. With routine children learn to expect what is coming and will feel a sense of satisfaction as they begin to participate in performing the tasks associated with routine. For school aged children this will give a sense of independence. A daily routine can make a huge difference in how healthy, happy and productive we are, it provides a context for learning. Through routine children can learn self-control, positive behaviour and social skills.
Routine is important and is something that every age can benefit from. All of the world’s most successful leaders practice some sort of diligent routine. In the next few days ahead of school starting parents can begin integrating simple tasks into a child’s day that they are expected to do at certain times. Making their bed, cleaning up toys, setting the table for dinner. When children understand what is expected of them at certain times throughout a day, they feel better and for parents this means things get done without any nagging, (or at the very least a little less than normal). Also, doing this now will help smooth the transition from summer days to school days!