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Resolutions and Routines for Your Whole Family!

By Too Small to Fail

It’s a new year, which means it could be a good time to reflect on what family routines are working well and which routines you might want to improve. In this new year, you might even consider creating some new routines and traditions to strengthen your bond with your children.

Not only do routines help parents, grandparents and caregivers manage the challenges of a busy family, but by creating a consistent schedule, you’re helping your child thrive. Infants and toddlers are continuously experiencing new things and a daily routine helps your baby feel safe and secure, allowing him or her to learn about himself or herself and the world around them. Research shows that children thrive in a predictable environment, and those who grow up with routines like regular meal times, consistent naps and bedtimes, as well as rituals like bath and story time, are more likely to succeed in school. Plus, predictable routines can help build your little one’s social skills, self-esteem and self-control, which will boost his or her social-emotional development. 

 Here are some tips to help you create a new routine for a new year!

  • Set New Year’s resolutions with your whole family! Implement activities that can be done as a family –  a new routine that incorporates family time can be enjoyable for everyone!  Read this Huffington Post article for more family routine inspiration.

  • Get creative with routines! Routines can be anything that a child and parent or caregiver do together regularly. You know your child best--so create routines that can be fun and enjoyable for him or her! More from the Hanen Centre on why routines are important for early brain development.
  • During the week, keep morning wake-up routines cheerful and positive! Try singing a song to your baby when he or she wakes up. This article from HealthyChildren.org shares tips for managing the challenges of a regular routine with a busy family, and why it’s important to stay consistent.
  • Try to eat meals or snacks together as often as possible. Family mealtime is not only important for bonding, it’s great for boosting your child’s vocabulary! So during the meal, talk about the day’s activities and highlights. Read more in this Washington Post article about the benefits of eating together.
  • Share a story before bed. A nightly ritual of reading a story at night can help calm your child and ease the transition into bedtime. Read more about creating the ultimate bedtime routine for your child in this Huffington Post article.

Visit TalkingIsTeaching.org for more tips like these!

Let’s Talk About Clothes!

As you help your child get dressed every day, talk about the colors of his or her clothes! You can say, “Your socks are blue and soft.” As your child is getting dressed, you can also talk about how he or she is putting on clothes. “First, let’s put on your pants – one leg in at a time! Next, arms up over your head while we put on your shirt. Now, let’s put on your socks, then your shoes! Now you’re ready to play!”

Taking Control of Your Family’s Routines

Do you want to improve some of your family’s routines but are not sure where to start? This great video from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley shares how you can break your goal down into small steps for a successful routine!

Posted In: Newsletter