Why Your Child Needs A Routine + A Free Printable Daily Routine Chart
I always knew routines were important. Not just for kids, but for everyone. Routines teach structure, discipline, and give purpose to the day. But I had no idea that the lack of a routine could cause the issues I have been dealing with for months now.
Lately, I’ve really been struggling with parenting my 3 year old, Elsie. Everything was a fight, from brushing her hair to eating meals. She would throw such big tantrums that she almost seemed out of control. I wondered whether her behaviors were something I should be concerned about. After all, this was something that was affecting our lives daily.
Then, I stumbled upon this article by Aha! Parenting and my mind was blown. As I read it, I quickly realized that most, if not all, of our issues were because Elsie didn’t have a daily routine. The article explains how routines help children feel secure and allow them to develop self discipline. A lack of routine, however, causes a sort of chaos in a child’s life. If there is no known routine, children are left going through their day without any sense of what comes next. This can cause stress and anxiety, which then leads to meltdowns and power struggles.
Once I did more research, I knew I needed to establish a routine….and quick. I sat down and created a printable “daily routine” chart for Elsie. It had all of the tasks she needs to do throughout the day, such as eating breakfast and having outdoor play time. I printed it out, put it in a picture frame, and gave her a dry erase marker so that she could check off the tasks as she completes them.
In just one day of using the chart, she has done a complete 180! She went from refusing to eat meals and fighting every request that was made of her to asking if she could have lunch or a snack and actually listening when she’s told to do something. My days have gone from complete madness to being enjoyable and productive…..and I can see that Elsie feels much more content having a routine.
I had tons of other parents tell me that their child lacks routine and a chart like this one would be useful, so I made a printable version!
This chart is geared more towards toddlers, so if you have suggestions for charts made for older children, let me know!