In a previous article, “Routines For Young Children: How They Help Your youngster,” I suggested six parts of the daily routine for kids. The first three parts explained why routine is important; the fourth explained several examples of how routine can be modified for different situations and the fifth gave a brief discussion of how kids experience procrastination. These articles have given some useful new perspectives on the importance of routine in helping young children. Thus, I now want to discuss how we can modify our routine to meet the needs of our children with special needs.
The National Association of Housekeepers believes that children experience procrastination because they are not “put off” from doing their homework by feeling anxious about it. Thus, as part of a healthy sleep routine, they seek consistent bedtime routines – those patterns that a parent, guardian, or other caregiver has established for them early in their development. A good example of a routine for young children might include taking a bath, reading a story, playing some musical instruments, eating a snack, and getting dressed before leaving for school. By providing a consistent bedtime routine, these and other activities become routine for them. Thus, the hope is that by developing a set of bedtime rituals, early childhood learners will feel “put off” from doing their homework.
Parents who are currently trying to create a consistent bedtime routine for young children may be focusing on making sure that bedtime activities are as exciting and enjoyable as possible. Parents who are more attuned to the needs of their young children may also be more attuned to the reality that young children need consistent stimulation. This is especially true of very young children who, because they are so very young, cannot communicate their needs to their parents in any kind of meaningful way. Such communication may be restricted to gestures and facial expression. It’s no wonder that parents of young children need to take steps to provide a consistent, meaningful interaction with their toddlers and preschoolers.
Providing consistent bedtime routines for young children may also lead to a much higher acceptance of bedtime routines by the very young children themselves. This can lead to a much more peaceful sleep, as there would no need for confusion or interruption. Some parents have even reported that by teaching their toddler’s bedtime routines, it has lead to a greater degree of calmness and happiness in their households. If a routine helps the child to settle into an internal state of calm, the parent can then proceed to helping the child to calm down in more difficult situations.
There are all kinds of great ideas for routine for young children that can make your life just a bit easier! Routines can include activities that you’ve always done before (like brushing and combing the hair), games that you play with them at night (like hide and seek, or counting sheep), cooking (like baking cookies), and other things. Once you have established a routine for them, it can help you get your rest and feel better at the same time. The best part is that once they’ve gotten used to a routine, most children seem to be able to get into a daily routine without much effort on their part.
Bedtime routines can really make a difference in your children’s life. The best thing to do when deciding what bedtime routine for young children is to get online and look up some great resources. There are many bedtime routines that you can find to make the process of teaching them a routine easier. Once you find a routine you like, just be patient, and stick with it, and your children will be happy to fall asleep with you.