I thought I would back up a second and explain why the schedule that you created yesterday matters so much to your kids.
A routine is a predictable set of expectations for the way things work, when transitions happen, and how and what children are supposed to do.
When we set up a routine for our children, it creates a sense of security and safety because the things that happen daily can be counted on and are not happening randomly.
Children who feel safe, experience less anxiety, act out less, and have a better foundation for building good habits.
During times of great stress such as divorce, loss, or say a...pandemic, routines provide consistency that help children feel safe.
The brain also loves routine. In a child, neural pathways are just being formed, and they are formed by repeated behavior. These pathways then make it easier for the brain to do the same thing over and over again….it practices along the pathway.
This is why bad habits are so hard to break…you formed a neural pathway, a groove, for that behavior.
However, this is also why good habits are so important to form. You build the same neural pathways for good habits. This is why athletes who practice a skill over and over, get better at it. The brain loves the pathway and uses it easily.
Now, imagine a child with no set routine. Every day is different, every day has a different set of requirements and expectations. This child cannot form a pathway for each variable because the variables are always changing.
But, the child who has a set routine, goes about the day with little stress and anxiety because his/her brain already knows what to do. It has formed a groove to follow. That creates security! That creates an emotionally healthy child.
The point of all this is to say that families who develop a regular routine are helping their child’s brain develop emotionally, cognitively, and socially.
Your kids will act out less because they already know what to expect. You will yell at your kids less because they already know what to do. You will create an environment of calm and safety.
Finally, you will set your child up for future success. Children who grow up with routine are better at building habits.
And good habits are the very foundation upon which you achieve goals and success! It’s never too late to start, even as adults we can create new neural pathways and develop good habits that lead us to achieving our goals.
But, if we start when our kids are babies and toddlers by creating routines and good habits, we are fostering a brain that is literally wired for success!