Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

November 7, 2013

The Value in Routines

Routines are a valuable part of life that can easily be neglected either because we don‚Äôt know we have one already, or because we don‚Äôt see the value in it.  Some children thrive on routines and this can be very obvious in how upset they become when that routine is disrupted.  All children can benefit from some type of routine to their days though.


When children have familiarity in their daily life it helps them to know what to expect, but it also teaches them consistency and reliability which is good for their emotional health.  If a child is constantly unaware of what to expect from any given day or situation this can breed anxiety and insecurity.  It‚Äôs important to have a balance so that children can be capable of being flexible, but still feel secure and confident in their worlds.


A recent study of 10,000 children in the United Kingdom shows that simple routines such as regular bedtime can have a significant impact on behavior.  There was a clear correlation that children who had irregular bedtimes (such as waiting until your child looks tired or chooses to go to bed) were more likely to have behavioral issues when they were school aged.  Children who had a regular bedtime were less likely to have these same behavioral issues.  A regular routine allows your child‚Äôs body to function at its best and that can include their going to bed at the same time every night even if they don‚Äôt look as tired as they might at a later time in the evening.