Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why Routines?

Rhythm and Routine
~ a series of articles to support rhythm in the home
Routines can be good for everyone. Good routines are beneficial to physical, psychological, and emotional health. Let's look at some of the benefits of routine:

For the Children
Routines provide great comfort and security to children of all ages and help ease anxiety because they provide the comfort of the familiar and of knowing what is coming next. Children know what to anticipate with routines as the sequence of events remains the same. Daily life becomes predictable with meal routines and bedtime routines. This ability to know what comes next alleviates the anxiety of the unknown for many children. Routines help children form good habits and become competent and capable of caring for themselves, their clothing and their environment - your home! You get a helper! All this through small steps in forming good habits with routines.

For the Adults
Life with little children (and big children too) can throw our plans off kilter, very easily. Very small children live in a sort of time out of time, and our task is to slowly and gently bring them into the rhythm of day and night, of mealtime and playtime, of sleeping time and of experiencing warm, joyful loving relationships. These are the anchors in our days - eating and sleeping, playing and experiencing warm, loving, joyful and secure relationships. Routines help us do this, they give form to time. Routines help our days run more smoothly.

Routines give us more freedom and actually free up time. With the form of a routine comes freedom within the form. 

Routines make procrastination less likely. When activities have a specific time in the day to be done, they tend to get done. I know that when I have no boundaries around my time, it's easy to drift this way and that and easily become distracted from what I set out to do. Having a routine for the important activities in my day helps me stay on task. When I make it a habit to mentally organize dinner first thing in the morning, it is likely to get on the table on time and without rushing. When I faithfully start my day with a load of laundry, the wash pile doesn't build.

Routines help us be more clear in our intentions and control how the day will unfold. Now that may sound a little outrageous for people with small children because who knows how the day will go with little ones?! Yet routines help bring us back to center and bring form to day

One example might be a strong after lunch routine of a nap that helps everyone come back to center and re-energize for the rest of the day. A healthy bite to eat after the nap helps tide everyone over through dinner preparation until dinnertime. These little habits to have lunch followed by a story and the routine that comes with that, then a nap, then a bite to eat, these ways that were so natural to my mother and grandmother, have become conscious deeds that are carried with intention for my generation. We no longer have the group to carry us, we must figure it out for ourselves. It comes out of our free choice.

Routines help form good habits. Maybe you've always wanted to leave shoes by the door when you enter the house, and wish that everyone would hang up their coat. A coming into the house routine might be created with designating a place to put the shoes, and a place to hang coats and jackets. For the littles you might like to set a wooden peg hanger that is at just the right height for your child to reach. This way new habits are formed that can make your life easier, save the time you'd spend picking up shoes and jackets, make you happy, empower the children and make leaving the house flow more smoothly as well since everything will be in its place and easy to find.

These are some of the benefits of routines, other benefits may include better sleep, healthier meals, a more relaxed mood in the home, more time to get out in the fresh air, more time to snuggle in with a story, time for tea, and a more effective use of time. Good routines help home life flow more smoothly. 

Here's a list of the benefits of routine, they:

Provide comfort and security
Ease anxiety
Give form to the day
Bring children into the rhythm of life
Build competence
Bring clarity to intentions
Help us to be present in the moment
Give us control over the flow of the day
Help the day flow more smoothly
Help us come back to center (feel grounded)
Re-energize us
Make time to get things done
Help us form good habits

Are you convinced that routines are a good thing?

Read Article #1 Routine in the Waldorf Home::What is it?  here


  1. Thank you for writing this. I tend to think of routines as suffocating, but this helps me see good reasons to have routines.

    1. Me too Amy! I'm spontaneous and love to be in the moment. That changed for me when I had a nursery in my home and had to keep to day time routines. It really made a difference in the flow of our days. So I just kept on as my children grew, and it still makes a difference for me, even with my work. When I keep my routines, things get done, and when I have free time it's really free because I din't have the other things on my mind. Hope this is clearer than mud. :-)

  2. I just discovered your site! Loving it all! Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Kimberly. I'm just seeing your comment now.


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