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Here are 7 simple reasons for why schedules are important in children at all ages.
1. Schedules translate into self-discipline.
Self-discipline should be a way of life. Ultimately, it is one of the most important traits needed to achieve and accomplish your goals.
2. Setting a schedule does not equal to being strict.
Having a schedule for your child does not correspond to being stern with them. It just means that we, as parents, set a routine in their best interests, for them to follow.
3. Establish a routine with your child at home.
Why should schedules be restricted to school? Getting into a daily routine is the first step to becoming a successful student. With a well-established routine, your child will keep up with the work and progress.
4. Find order in chaos.
"A schedule defends from chaos and whim" - Annie Dillard
There are three most important schedules to manage in little children: their mealtime, their bedtime, and their playtime. If they are fed in time and they sleep well, then they are able to enjoy their rest of the time. It keeps them happy and the parents sane. As they grow older, nothing much changes except that their play time gets shared with their study time and other extra-curricular activities.
5. Create "patterns".
One of the many activities in a kindergarten activity book is for children to follow patterns. Make one for your little ones or better, help them make one for themselves. Children understand patterns.
6. Teach your child time management.
Planning and sticking to schedules can help you and your child get tasks done more effectively and efficiently.
7. Scheduling is not boring.
In fact, it can be fun. I have a four year old. Sometime back, my husband was traveling overseas and I knew she'd miss him. So, to cheer her up, I told her that for the time that he's not around, we would do one fun thing together everyday. And we did! Because we follow the “usual”, the idea of doing something spontaneous and unusual each day was super exciting. Every night before going to bed, she would happily remember and talk about what a fun day she had. And the best part is that we still continue to do something exciting every day! No day is ever the same in our world.
Take a break.
Save the weekends for their (and your) schedules to be all over the place.
Written by Gauri Jain - a doctor and an Indian mother of a curious 3 year old daughter living in the USA...writing this on behalf of the wonderful team of Ghotu Motu Ki Toli.