How Consistency Affects Routines for Parents and Children

Consistent routines provide emotional stability and a more stress-free family life. When life is constantly throwing curve balls, it is difficult to feel secure and safe. This is especially true for children. By creating consistent routines, children know what to expect and parents can make better use of their time.

Physical routines

The human body works best when food, exercise, and sleep routines are consistent. Your body’s internal clock uses light, stimulus, and routine to create what is known as a circadian rhythm. Healthy circadian rhythms allow the body to make necessary hormonal and metabolism adjustments for optimal health. Since children’s bodies are constantly changing, consistent routines can provide stability and security. Lack of physical routines can lead to depression, poor performance, and lack of self control, not to mention poor health. Children and adults benefit from regular schedules of sleep, eating, and activity.

Discipline routines

Parenting is a demanding and occasionally stressful job. Creating consistent routines in expected behavior for children makes it easier to maintain a peaceful home life. When children know what is expected of them and the consequences for bad decisions or behavior, they are less likely to exhibit bad behavior. Consistent routines help parents and children create and maintain good habits of hygiene, behavior, and health, while the lack of disciplinary routines often leads to power struggles, tantrums, and delinquency.

Daily demands

Life can be hectic, especially with children. Creating consistent routines allows parents and older children to make better use of their time and to avoid the stresses associated with missed appointments, being late to work or school, and feeling spread too thinly. Consistent routines also aid families in keeping track of one another, keeping the house clean, and getting homework done. Research has demonstrated that family routines and traditions play a critical role in language, academic, social, and emotional child development.

Suggested routines:

  • Start each day with a healthy breakfast with the entire family

  • Have a place for specific items: backpacks, keys, etc.

  • Practice basic manners, such as meeting people, shopping, and phone use

  • Develop a weekly housework and homework schedule

  • Bathe children before bedtime to calm them

  • Read bedtime stories to help children get to sleep and develop a love of reading

Consistent routines help children develop self control and self confidence in their ability to handle new situations. Routines help reduce power struggles and the need for constant supervision and nagging. 

The best routine for your family may be very different from someone else’s, and it should change over time as your child gets older. Creating a consistent routine starts with the basics of hygiene, bedtime, activities, and manners. Basic routines can be modified according to family dynamics, the age of the child, and cultural practices. The importance of consistent routines in family life is that they help children adapt and feel secure in new situations while allowing parents more time to enjoy each other, their children, and daily life.