CLOSE TO HOME| The importance of daily routine

CHILDREN are born into this world without a manual on how to raise them attached to their bodies. They come as a riddle to us and we learn as we go or we copy how we were raised by our parents.

One constant idea that kept coming is the idea of daily routine. Far from the days when families naturally follow a routine from waking to sleeping, we now have difficulty with what routine to follow except for the TV series that keep us on the media. This society has also labelled routine to be ‘bad’ or ‘boring’ while discrediting the harmony it brings to everyone. If we examine carefully, it’s not routine per se that makes it boring. It is our perception toward it that makes it unwanted.

Many times, we have traded the purposeful movements of chores within the day for idle lifestyle. Time is often spent on screen and we forget that each day, our children are changing and they need movements to support them as they grow.

In the book Adventures in Parenting by Rachel Ross, emphasis on daily routine was given, because, it says that through this, children can hold good memories that make them feel secure and give them a sense of belongingness. Even more so, they do not need stimulation and distraction as they can use their imagination very well, given the space.

I met a student who had been overly stimulated by the media; the child cannot move without having to act out a TV character. At times, no one wants to befriend him because he tends to hit others with his play. When he was learning to sew and knitting, he found it very difficult; he can’t even use his fingers to thread a needle. His body that was not accustomed to daily routine cannot stand still, and at his at eight, he still finds it difficult to tie and untie his shoelace.

What happens to a child whose household doesn’t have daily routine and rhythm? A child often comes to school with lack of sleep, no breakfast (or fast food breakfast). This causes them difficulty and unprepared for learning in school. We are using the window of opportunity when they are still young to teach them personal care and other life skills so that when they grow older, they can manage themselves independently.

Routine is not only important in the lives of our children. It is also very important for us adults too. Being able to identify household routine will make us clear about our priorities. What is the most important for us, as parents? The answer may be found in our house. If our children will not see this in our house, it may cause them to be lazy or attain an apathetic attitude in their lives. The mothers may turn out to be screaming moms to their children, affecting her relationship with everyone in the family.

A daily routine could come as simple as bathing after waking up, breakfast, and preparing for school. After school, the child may take a little quiet time, drawing, playing with friends, and by six in the evening, dinner, then freshen up, then bed time story, and sleep. Following routine for us and for our children is not really that difficult. But it is our will that determines this. If we muster our will and wean ourselves from the distractions of the media that is present in almost every household, a great routine for our children may be pulled off. Remember, knowing and not doing is just like not knowing. We have to practice this with our children as their future are at stake in this personal endeavor.( Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a mother and a Nurturer at Tuburan Institute. For questions, comments, and suggestions, feel free to email her at socojoanmae@yahoo.com)

Posted in Opinion