Family life

A few tips for a successful routine

Let us start by saying that the routine we’re referring to here is synonymous to stability. All forms of stability provide a feeling of security to children of all ages.

Having a daily routine opens the door to a variety of possibilities for your children. A routine will help to reinforce their feeling of security, as well as allow them to be more confident in their own abilities.

The stronger this feeling of self-confidence is, the easier it becomes for your child to develop other aspects of his character and personality. For example, a child that is well surrounded and lives in a safe environment with a steady schedule will be worry-free. He will not worry about who will pick him up from kindergarten or school, or whether mom or dad will be there on time.

In addition, it is important to let children participate in everyday tasks. Depending on their age, children can participate in house chores such as making their bed in the morning, putting their dirty clothes in the laundry basket, helping with meal preparations, cleaning up the playroom, recycling or any other task that needs to be done on a regular basis.

Sleep

Equally important is to have a schedule for sleeping times. In the long run, young children who don’t have scheduled bed or nap times can accumulate a lack of sleep, leading to fatigue and irritability. Likewise, behavioural and attention problems are also caused by insufficient sleep. In these cases, the child’s body does not have the chance to fully recuperate and replenish his energy levels.

Recommended sleeping times by age:

  • 1 to 3 years old: 10 to 12 hours
  • 3 to 5 years old: 8 to 10 hours
  • 5 to 12 years old: 8 hours minimum

From Monday to Friday, be strict about respecting bed and nap time. As soon as your child is able to sleep through the night, try to implement a sleeping routine where your child’s waking and sleeping habits resemble your own. Your child will be rested, energized, less irritable and more receptive to learning and other activities.

Nutrition

Nutrition is also an important part of building a successful routine with children. Quantity and quality are of high importance when it comes to eating. Kids burn a lot of energy during the day, so it is all the more important to start the day with a good and healthy breakfast!

Since 1994, the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec offers a nutritious breakfast to approximately 15 000 children. This growing success has a direct impact on these kids’ school performances.The Greater Toronto area also has a similar program called The Children’s Breakfast Club Check out your province’s special program for feeding children’s minds and bellies!

As far as quality is concerned, it is not only important, it is essential! A diet that is high in sugar and fat produces low-quality short-term energy. The bad reputation of refined sugars and saturated fats has effectively been demonstrated.

A healthy breakfast

For breakfast, or any other meal for that matter, variety is key! In fact, we can stimulate appetite by simply mixing up the type of food we eat. As soon as your kids are old enough, encourage them to help with meal preparations: setting the table, measuring ingredients, filling the plates, etc. The pride they will feel will help them develop their confidence in themselves and in their capacities!

Repeating what works 

Repeating simple tasks on a daily basis can boost your children’s self-confidence and help them develop new abilities.  These moments will also be twice as constructive since they will be shared with you! These are privileged moments where you can all share love and attention, and they’re a great opportunity to communicate.

Just wait and see, you might truly enjoy creating your own little rituals around daily habits. Bedtime will be hassle-free, and with a little bit of imagination, the broccoli on your child’s plate could be the first to disappear!

In fact, what is so great about any type of routine is that it allows us to appreciate our weekends - and the days where we don’t follow it -  even more! Unexpected events become stress-free and more enjoyable!

This week

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