Routines and structures are a part of one’s daily life in every way. They assume a lot of importance when you are bringing up a child. Unless such a structure is established and a routine is set up, parenting becomes an onerous task. So set up your required structure and establish those routines as soon as a child enters your life.
The dictionary meaning of structure would give you the following alternatives:
1. that which is built or constructed; 2. the arrangement of all the parts of a whole; 3. something composed of related parts. It is the third part of the definition that really concerns us here, the family structure that exists around a child. This normally consists of a mother, father and possibly siblings. The extended family of grandparents may also be included in some families. However, in the world that is now with us, single parents, same sex parents, adoptive parents and even grandparents raising their grandchildren would also have to be included as possible parts or the whole of the family structure. Immaterial of what your family structure consists of, the importance of children being emotionally balanced cannot be stressed too greatly. The reactions of the family members to one another in any situation, defines the structure of the family. While raising a child everyone should be involved, and should all be in agreement when any important issues of the child’s upbringing are being considered.
A routine is a procedure followed regularly, be it prescribed or as part of a custom. Children must get used to a routine as they grow and learn to follow it. Daily life has simple routines that a child needs to follow. Keeping his room clean and all his toys and other stuff away is one such routine. That making up the bed every morning is as important as brushing his teeth after all meals. That he must wash his hands after each visit to the bathroom. As they grow up more and more routines will enter his life. That he needs to do his homework at the same time every day. That he can watch TV only at particular times and that he has to go to bed by a certain time. All these routines should be a very important part of a child’s life.
Routines do not stop with childhood. They will be part of us all our lives, no matter how old we become. These routines, by their having the discipline of being followed daily, become a habit. This also means that your life will always be well organized, especially once you have the simple things in your daily life taken care of. Most successful people follow set routines in their life at home and at work, and it is this organization of their life that leaves them with the extra time to pursue their careers and become icons.
Routine in school work is something very important. If you have started your child with set routines in his life at home, it will not be difficult for him to make such a routine for his school work as well. It is well established that children who have such routines to do their homework, generally fare better in class than those who don’t have such set methods of working at home. The routines will also help them to do better in school as well.
Bringing up a child requires us to set up routines that do not interfere with our other schedules. Use sticky notes on the fridge to let everyone who is part of the family know each other’s schedule and everyone’s role in the set routines for your child. Sticking to a routine is as important as making one up.