Adding Routines and Rewards to Home Life

No one likes to feel out of control of their life. It makes us feel anxious and uncertain. Toddlers and children are the same. They are their own independent little people. They have opinions and will make those opinions known. They want to understand what is happening to them and have the independence to choose what they want to do. Routines and reward systems such as sticker charts can help children take control of their lives and know what is expected of them.

A routine is a sequence of actions that is done repeatedly in the same order. Babies and toddlers thrive on routine. They feel in control when they know what is coming and what to expect. A routine can be as simple as going to bed at the same time every night or as complex as a complete schedule for your little one every day. Routines can help children feel at ease because they are constant. There is nothing new or scary about them. If a child knows that after lunch they will go for a walk, then they will come to expect it and may even have their shoes ready before lunch is over.

Babies also thrive on routines. Creating a schedule that works for you and your family can bring better sleeping habits and easier life for mom in general. When a baby is on a routine, they become accustomed to falling asleep and waking up at certain times. This helps their bodies produce melatonin (the natural sleeping hormone the body produces) at the same time and helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Creating routines and ways for your child to earn rewards can help promote a safe space for your child to grow.

Routines help children know what a parent expects of them and what is non-negotiable. If getting dressed or brushing teeth is something important to you as a parent, make sure it is on their routine and children are aware of it. If a child is unaware of a parent’s expectations, many power struggles and tantrums will occur. A routine chart gives children a visual way to see expectations and a fun way to mark each item off. Routi