Nurturing Futures

Let’s check in on their daily routine

A daily routine can work like magic, and sometimes it’s a challenge to just keep up with it. One thing’s for sure, routines are very important in nurturing your child’s future.

First thing’s first. It’s important to acknowledge that every single member of your family is an individual. There’s you as the parent, your child, or children, maybe an extended family member – and never forgetting the pets if your family has any. The reason it’s important to acknowledge every individual is because naturally every family member will almost always move and navigate through their day according to their own routine. And that’s where things can get a little tricky. See, if each family member is moving according to their own routines, it becomes difficult to keep up with the day. When do you all then have breakfast as a family? What time do you leave for the school run? Who does the chores and when do they need to be completed? The list goes on and on according to your family’s unique needs. 

There is, however, a light at the end of this tunnel – the simple fact that establishing a daily routine for your children, and somehow working around other family members’ routines, is essential in their development. Because children have a fear of the unknown and unfamiliar, having a set daily routine allows them to have a sense of control over their day, while feeling safe enough to explore whatever the day may bring. Daily routines help your children understand what is important and what’s not. A routine helps in building their approach to what they prioritise during the day, and how they make those choices.

A simple daily routine can look like this: 
•    Wake up at 06:00.
•    Get ready for the day between 06:00 and 06:45.
•    Have a balanced breakfast, with a cup of NESTLÉ® NESPRAY® FortiGrow™ for your children at 07:00.
•    Leave for work and the school run at 07:30.
•    Lunchtime is around 12:00 at school or home.
•    Do homework and chores between 14:30 and 15:30.
•    Have playtime at 15:30.
•    Spend family time from 16:00 to 18:00. 
•    Do supper time 18:00. 
•    Bedtime is at 20:30.
•    Repeat!

This is, of course, in a perfect world. Because daily routines won’t be perfect every time and they evolve and change based on the day ahead.

These include some of the benefits of establishing and trying to keep to your children’s daily routine:
•    It gives your children a schedule. Their body clocks will start to develop healthier patterns, such as knowing when it’s time to take a nap.
•    They learn healthy mealtime structures.
•    It establishes your children’s expectations – no more overexplaining why you’re not giving them permission to do something or go somewhere. They’ll know what is happening when and they will get to decide for themselves what they look forward to, and what they need to prepare themselves for.
•    A calmer and in-sync household. Can you imagine it? The morning where everyone is doing what they should be and when they should be doing it!
•    It builds healthy habits. From bedtime to establishing healthy food and eating habits, a daily routine helps your children navigate the best way to use their time and builds a healthier relationship with time itself.
•    It helps in making your children more responsible. Children love being able to express their independence, hence their very curious minds, and a daily routine allows them to not only express it but also have a list of responsibilities to turn to in proving their point.
•    It brings the family together. It’s a brilliant bonding tool for the whole family. Now everyone knows they’ll have time set for connecting, sharing or simply to enjoy each other’s company – be it over some breakfast or dinner.

Remember, the most important thing about establishing your children’s daily routine is to embrace their individuality and interests. For example, if your child loves video games, set time aside on weekends for them to enjoy some alone time with their console. Or maybe your child loves to help you cook supper for the family? This would mean you and your child need to have ticked all the boxes on your to-do list so that you can enjoy the bonding experience.

Finally, how do you set up a healthy daily routine?
•    Involve your children and discuss the plan with them, while allowing them to make their own suggestions for and changes to the plan.
•    Be realistic about your family’s everyday experiences.
•    Put the schedule up on a wall or on the fridge and make sure every family member has a copy of the schedule, whether on paper or on their cell phones. 
•    Commit to it as a family. This way your children feel supported by everyone.
•    Have review sessions. It’s important that your children know they can influence their routine and that they are more than welcome to do so. If they want to take up an extramural activity, or need more time dedicated to their homework, they should be able to express that – and it should be taken into consideration. 
•    Consistency is key! As parents, we tend to throw the routine out the window on weekends and school holidays, which interrupts the healthy patterns that have been established.
•    But still have some fun with it. After all, no two days are the same. Allow for some surprises here and there.