As an adult, you may like to be spontaneous or plan out a daily schedule. Children, however, need the consistency of a structured routine to flourish.
Unfortunately, a schedule can be hard to accomplish as a stay-at-home parent. There are endless options of ways to fill your time: going to the park, shopping, eating out, playdates, television, and so much more.
It’s easy to see how tantrums result from inconsistency. Why can’t you get ice cream after visiting the zoo since you did it yesterday? Why can’t your child watch three episodes of television like he did on the weekend? Why should he take a nap today since he hasn’t had one for a few days?
This is where the advantage of daycare comes in! At Children’s Academy Childcare and Preschool, we have a consistent daily and weekly schedule. Keep reading to learn how maintaining consistency benefits your child.
Adults can experience anxiety when they don’t know what will happen. Will your boss give you a promotion? Did you pass your exam? Will you have to work on the weekend?
Similarly, children can experience anxiety when they don’t know what to expect in their day. This anxiety can result in obstinance or tantrums. The best way to help relieve this anxiety is to give children a predictable, consistent routine. When children know what to expect, they feel safe and secure. This helps them flourish and reduce resistance to authority and tantrums.
Gives a Sense of Control
While it might be counterintuitive, having a schedule helps children feel in control of their environment. They can be fully present doing the tasks before them because they know what is expected and what is coming next.
Safety and Security
Knowing that adults are in charge gives children a sense of safety and security. When a routine is in place, children instinctively know that they don’t have to protect themselves or look out for their best interests. They are free to simply be children.
Engaged in Learning
Children are more likely to be engaged in learning when they have a consistent routine. They know that the teacher sings a good morning song, that snack comes after reading aloud, and that naps happen after lunch. When a structure is immovable, children will be fully present in whatever activity they are doing. They won’t have anxiety about what is coming next or if the teacher will change her mind on a whim.
Give Time for Flexibility
Of course, you can swing too far the other way and hold fast to a rigid routine. This isn’t good for children either! Flexibility is a necessary skill for adults and children alike, whether it’s an emergency meeting, a delayed bedtime, or accepting last-minute tickets to a baseball game.
How Do I Start?
Hopefully, you can see the benefit of a routine, how it reduces childhood anxiety, and how it can help minimize outbursts. But how can you start giving your child a routine?
First, pick two or three things you know you can be consistent about. For instance, wake up at the same time every day, have consistent times for meals, and don’t budge on when nap time starts. Whatever you choose, pick something you know you can stick with for at least two months, which is the average time to form a new habit.
Finally, don’t forget to be flexible. Modeling an appropriate response to inconvenience or a change in schedule influences how your child will respond to similar situations in the future.
Structured Routine at Children’s Academy Childcare and Preschool
We understand the importance of a structured routine at Children’s Academy while occasionally giving flexibility for special events. Each classroom has its own daily routine that meets the needs and capabilities of the age group. The children enrolled in Children’s Academy can count on our teachers and staff to consistently teach from our curriculum calendars and provide outings that they can look forward to.
If you’re looking to give your child a head start in school, contact Children’s Academy Childcare and Preschool today!