Toddlers usually have their day “all clear”. Unlike adults, they don’t have any meetings to attend or any social gatherings to be present at. In the eyes of the adult, all a kid ever has to do is wake up, eat, play, learn, sleep and repeat! BUT, in the eyes of the kid, the adult represents a concept of routine, that is unfamiliar and extremely exciting. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon to see kids try and ape their adults – be it wanting to “dress like daddy at work” or indulge in role-play.
Research claims that kids wake up to learn something new every day. Even when they are in the comfort of their own homes, they strive to learn at least one skill every day.
Ever wondered why kids get cranky when they are out of town/home? Contrary to popular belief they do not get homesick, they just miss their old routine. All of this starts when they are not older than a few months.
As infants are unaware of the difference between the day and night, we make them familiar with sunlight by stepping outside, then try to squeeze in nap times in the afternoon and put them to bed later at night, but is that the only type of scheduling required for toddlers?
Scheduling a day for your toddler starts with waking them up early in the morning, setting up a meal time – table, dedicating a good part of the day for play time, stepping outside the house to get some fresh air, etc.
The importance of this schedule is that kids associate themselves with this agenda so that they feel stress-free while accomplishing other things in their day.
One of the other most important things behind scheduling a child’s day is that even if they don’t follow it consciously, their body aligns itself to the clock and acts accordingly. For example, if you read a bedtime story for your kid every day, the kid will automatically fall asleep out of habit even when you have not completed it. This occurs because the kid’s mind follows the cue and knows that it’s time to rest.
Again, this is not just something that is beneficial for kids. If you are new at parenting, you will realise that your entire routine will go for a toss once you have a child. So once you set up a schedule for your kid, you can set up one for yourself accordingly. So from where we see it, it’s a win-win!
Pro-tip: Also when kids grow up they are going to resent nap times and your older schedule. So once your child is all grown-up try to take a step back and make your schedule flexible!