Routines play important role in child behavior

Local News

Routines like brushing your teeth before bed or a nightly story to unwind play a tremendous role in a child’s day and those routines may be a critical part of getting kids ready for kindergarten.

For Davis Patterson, helping dad in the kitchen is a daily afternoon ritual.  He’s learning first-hand about meal preparation and nutrition and he’s engaging in behavior that may also prepare him for school.  Researchers found that regular family routines started as early as 14 months predict a child’s readiness for kindergarten.

Kristen Bub, EDD Developmental Psychologist, says, “Routines are really critical for children’s ability to sort of regulate those emotions and to interact in a socially appropriate way.”

Doctors studied data from over 3,000 children and found those with more routines were less likely to exhibit bad behavior and hyperactivity.  More routines also predicted better academic skills.  The Patterson family uses their own system of Davis Dollars to reward good behavior or completion of chores.

Ashley Patterson, Davis’ Mom, says, “I just really wanted to not have any more crying breakdowns. That was my motivation, but it had all these unintended positive consequences.”

So, what can you do?  Establish routines with children early.  Something as simple as working with a child on brushing their teeth will start them on the path toward regular routines.

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