Marshall Clinical Expert | April 25, 2024 | Occupational Therapy

The Importance of Developing a Daily Routine

As a parent or caregiver, it might be crossing your mind: "how do I help to develop a consistent routine for my child, but also make that routine actually work for my child and our family?" If you are, you are certainly not alone! The professional support from Marshall Pediatric Therapy's clinicians could make the world of difference in the dynamic of your day-to-day.

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Developing a routine for children helps to give them structure and consistency, which also greatly impacts their overall development. These routines do not need to be strict schedules or you could be facing some resentment or a negative result. Instead, it can be done simply by creating an environment that is rather predictable so children know what to expect on a day-to-day basis.

The neat thing about routines is that one single routine does not have to work for all families universally. Instead, families have the ability to create daily routines that cater to their specific needs, values, and schedules. This is especially helpful when there are multiple children and individuals involved with varying requirements.

Daily routines might consist of:

  1. The time a child wakes up and gets ready in the morning

  2. Bath time, mealtimes, nap times, playtime, family time, bedtime

  3. Homework or educational-related responsibilities

  4. Extracurricular activities, outdoor play, meeting up with friends

  5. Chores and household duties

  6. Personal hygiene

  7. Exercise or a physical activity/activities

According to one of our recent blog posts, Screen Time for Kids: Finding Balance the CDC suggests that a child spends a minimum of one hour outside partaking in physical activity. Now more than ever, children are introduced to and dependent on electronic devices to problem-solve or find some sort of connection more than ever. It is through a routine that a parent can help to define boundaries.

10 reasons that a daily routine is important for your child:

  1. Consistent routines help children get on a schedule and find their "body clocks" also referred to as one's Circadian Rhythm. Circadian Rhythm is defined as: The natural cycle of physical, mental, and behavioral changes that the body goes through in a 24-hour cycle. Circadian rhythms are mostly affected by light and darkness and are controlled by a small area in the middle of the brain.

  2. Routines help to bond families together by using activities or traditions to help children understand what's important

  3. Helps to establish overall expectations

  4. Creates a household that is much calmer, therefore, reducing stress and anxiety

  5. Empowers children and gives them confidence in knowing what they're supposed to do and the independence to be able to do it themselves

  6. Establishes healthy, constructive habits such as brushing their teeth regularly, cleaning up a mess, making a sandwich, or completing their homework

  7. Helps the parent to remember important things by keeping them on track

  8. Offers children an opportunity to get excited about what's ahead

  9. Provides opportunity and space for "daily rituals" such as having quality time set aside to relax and spend intentional time

  10. Offers stability during a time of transition or stress

Our professional Occupational Therapists help to improve or restore activities that are associated with that of daily living. By doing so, OTs introduce children to independence. Each of our brains functions in a way that permits us to adapt to the behaviors being faced.

For a simple way to start to help get your child more on track at home, we're providing you with a downloadable schedule tracker. A really great way to visually interpret and recognize a routine as it's forming and working out well.

For more information about how Marshall Pediatric Therapy's services could benefit your family, we'd love to speak with you anytime and answer absolutely any questions you have! Contact us today!