As a young child, you used to have routines. True that they were tedious, but somehow they worked for you then. You may have rebelled at the idea of living by an imposed routine or set of rules, so as an adult you may have started referring to it as a “schedule.” While you still do some things “like clockwork,” you don’t mind having a schedule. The word makes you feel like an adult, someone who has control over one’s life and activities.
As you slip and forget important tasks – the dreadful consequences of not having a routine – you may realize why is routine important then when you were a child, why it’s important now, and why it can help your child succeed as a person. What is a routine that you can embrace as an adult and one that will work for your child? What are its benefits?
What is a routine?
A routine is a customary or habitual performance of some common, daily tasks around the same time. It is something that most young people learn at an early age, but usually forget while growing up, not understanding why they have to do them religiously, again and again. They can get tedious. As a young child, you didn’t know why doing certain things – brushing teeth before bed, taking a bath before going to school, doing homework before playtime, TV, or dinner, etc. – have to be done over and over again.
As a grownup, you may have now realized that it helped many people to succeed in their endeavours. This is the reason you may want your child to have a routine – to develop the habits of successful people.
The Benefits of Having a Routine
In what ways do routines help you or your child succeed in your/their endeavours or overcome challenges?
Having a routine provides structure and stability in a person’s life. Whether it is for you or your child, having a routine helps in building a structure for the activities, and a structure helps you not to miss anything you need to accomplish at a specific time. It can put order and direction in your lives. It can be a bit stifling if you or your child prefers flexibility. The key is not to discard routines altogether, but to keep certain routines in areas where they can be most useful.
It helps in developing good habits. Good habits are what you would want your child to develop, the same thing that your parents wanted for you. Habits can define you as a person, or your child. It can set the foundation of a successful life for you as it is for them to achieve your/their goals and aspirations. A person who has good habits is more likely to succeed because it can save time and replace motivation when they are at their weakest.
It fosters efficiency as you master the tasks. “Practice makes perfect.” Because a routine is a set of activities that’s repeatedly done, you can eventually be good at it. This means that you or your kid can do those things without even thinking about them. Being able to do the tasks fast enables you to do more, improving your efficiency and increasing productivity while minimizing mistakes.
It counters the need to have a strong motivation and willpower to accomplish things. Motivation and willpower are great pluses, but only when they are present. In your (or your child’s) low moments, having a routine can save you from idleness. If you have a routine, you are likely to finish the tasks even when you are not in your best mood, as your mastery of the routine and the momentum take over.
It helps build impetus. Achieving small successes can boost your mood, drive and motivation. At a challenging time, it can be an awe-inspiring source of energy. While the compensation for a job entailing routine tasks can be menial, its payoff in life can be tremendous. Imagine the immense distance you will cover if you walk short distances every day. Envision a child reading a few pages a day – it can be a good many children’s books in 365 days.
Routine can prevent the piling up of work. Clutter won’t build up much if there is regular cleaning, decluttering and organizing. Work piles up when you don’t have a routine. It is similar for your child who isn’t routinely cleaning and organizing his/her bedroom. If you want your child to faithfully and unfailingly keep up with his/her duties, start them off with a simple routine early in their life. Do your best to sustain it through the years, so they don’t forget or “lose” it over time.
Learning in the Footsteps of…
Benjamin Franklin asks each evening, “What good have I done today?” Winston Churchill once said, “Start the day by working from bed.” Barack Obama quips, “Get a head start on tomorrow, tonight.”
Most successful people are like that – they don’t sleep or wake up without assessing the day as it starts or ends. If routine worked/works for them, it will work for you. It isn’t too early for your child to learn it too. Routines will benefit your children. They will be more cooperative and compliant. They will be more independent, eager and learn the value of time. Parenting them can be a most wonderful experience for you and your child, enjoying your shared moments more and having an easier time maintaining consistency and meeting expectations.
So, what is a routine and why is routine important for you and your child? It is about having the time to do things alone and together, so that you both live the benefits of an organized life.
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