Home parenting 20 tips for children’s daily routines and how you implement them successfully

20 tips for children’s daily routines and how you implement them successfully

by ines.wurbs@icloud.com

Routines are important in our everyday lives. But routines are particularly important for our children. Routines provide security and stability in your environment. This helps our little ones to develop into solid personalities.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to integrate routines into everyday life.
  • How to connect necessary and helpful elements into routines.
  • Which routines will give you a good start to the day.
  • Which routines help you structure tasks for children.
  • How evening routines help your children to calm down.
  • What tools are available to you.

Why is routine important for a child

Routines should help us to do useful or necessary things easily. Routines are habits we define and carry out without thinking too much about them. This gives us a sense of security, as we don’t have to be careful not to forget a routine.

Many parenting styles have little in common with our western understanding of parenting. Nevertheless, it’s shown that healthy adults worldwide can develop regardless of the circumstancesHowever, one thing is the same everywhere. Routines are the basis that we humans can develop in a controlled manner. Chaos, on the other hand, is detrimental to healthy development.

For our children, this sense of security is the most important point of routines. They make it possible for our children’s day to run smoothly. Even if it was an exciting day, evening routines, for example, offer our children the opportunity to calm down again.

In this article, you’ll find tips on making routines effective for you and your kids.

Tips for family routines

When we define routines for ourselves, we should keep a few basic points in mind. This is important so that we don’t make life more difficult for ourselves with our routines than necessary.

1. Link routines to regular events

Routines should be tied to regular activities or events. Routines have the purpose of becoming a habit, so they should be tied to daily events whenever possible. A classic example here would be getting up and going to bed.

However, routines do not necessarily have to be tied to a daily event. Other regular vertices are also fine here. Here, for example, the school or work week, regular sports and so on are possible.

2. Keep the context

When you establish routines, you should keep them in context. Do not stretch out routines unnecessarily. Regardless of whether it is temporal or through countless sequences. On the one hand, such new routines cannot be easily established and become habits. On the other hand, routines could become a strain.

Of course, it is possible to make your routines longer. An example would be an early morning routine:

  1. Get up at 5 a.m
  2. The deserved morning coffee
  3.  30 minutes of morning exercise
  4. Morning hygiene
  5. One hour for your hobby or work
  6. At 7:00 a.m., the children wake up

If you’re an early riser, such a routine works for us adults. An important point here is that it is a personal routine and is done alone. 

The general rule

The smaller the children, the more manageable common routines should be.

In general, make sure to adapt routines to childhood. A teenager can easily study for an hour or do homework. Routines for young children should be more compact.

3. Stick to the routine

Be careful how and when you make exceptions. Of course, exceptions are fine, but try to avoid making them part of the routine if possible. In such cases, it is better to skip the routine altogether.

If you still want to make an exception, tell your child and explain why you are making this exception. Explain that you are exceptionally reading a second story today because your child has been uncomfortable.

In such cases, prepare for the following day. Because your child will probably try to extend the routine because of the exception. If you’re okay with adjusting the routine, that’s fine.

Prepare yourself

Think beforehand if you are okay with an adjustment. When we are tired, there is a risk that we will give way. 

Adjusting routines later against the will of your children requires more strength and endurance than undoing a single exception.

4. Be locally independent

Especially with children, it is important to pay attention to local independence. Do not rely on elements that are only available at home.

If your child always cuddles up to the oversized unicorn for the evening story in the evening, the unicorn must be there every night. This can sometimes complicate a holiday because, of course, you have to take the unicorn with you.

When an important element of the routine is missing, part of the safe habit is lost. This only complicates an unfamiliar situation if the routine cannot be carried out as a whole.

5. Use the preferences of your children

Use your children’s likes to make routines a habit easier. If your child prefers to hear a story and is less fond of singing, just do it. This makes it easier and faster to introduce the routine.

Be careful, though, and only include popular activities if they don’t disrupt the routine itself. If you want to get your child ready for kindergarten and turn up the music, this can be a hindrance. Namely, if your child also loves to dance.

So make sure that the elements of the routine complement each other. This is where subroutines can help.

6. Create subroutines

Subroutines are also routines but are to be understood as an addition to the corner points or corner routines. They are usually individual additional supplements, which do not necessarily have to consist of several steps. These are intended to help with acclimatization or the execution of activities. For us adults, music during sports can be mentioned here. However, individually regulated situations can also be a subroutine if they are part of a larger whole. Saying “enjoy the meal” before eating, for example.

It is no different with children. Rhymes, sayings, or music often facilitate the execution. These can be witchcraft spells when cooking. A little rhyme that helps to put the shoes in their place also helps. With little songs or funny sayings, it’s just a lot more fun and at the same time increases the motivation of our children.

The same applies here: use the preferences of your children.

Subroutines can also be slowly resolved once the activity has become a real habit. That means we can just omit the auxiliary element when it’s all flesh and blood.

7. Use tools for routines

You can visualize routines for your children. This way, your children can better visualize processes. Create a schedule where your kids can check off completed items, turn the page, or leave.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sheet of paper, a magnetic board, or your own routine plan. It is important that your child can track their own progress. These plans are particularly helpful when the children are asked to independently follow a routine with a specific process.

Tips for morning routines

The morning routine is perhaps the classic form of routine. There’s a good reason for that. Because the morning in particular is inevitably associated with firmly prescribed processes, even without children.

We wake up, do the morning hygiene, get dressed, have breakfast, and head to work. There is often little time here to lounge around comfortably on the couch, and if there is, it is probably deserved.

8. The morning routine starts the day

Among routines, the morning routine is what breakfast is to meals: the most important of the day. It is not for nothing that there is also the expression: someone got up on the wrong foot.

The more pleasant and regulated we start the day, the more pleasant the day will be. This also means that we should structure our mornings without stress, morning routines enable our children to quickly complete their tasks independently. On the one hand, this is important for the autonomy and self-esteem of our children, on the other hand, it relieves us, parents.

Use the time you have

Adjust morning activities to your available time.

Try to only pack activities into a morning routine that also have a place in the morning. What can be done in 10 minutes for adults will sometimes easily take 30 minutes for children.

9. Flexible elements

Plan flexible elements if your mornings vary in length. For example, if your children don’t always wake up at the same time.

In this case, be careful. If time is short, the flexible activity must be able to be interrupted even after a short time. Also, tell your child how long the action will be, so they can adjust.

Since there is also a lot for us to do in our mornings, activities that our children can do on their own are ideal here. Examples of such activities are:

  • Dance to the music
  • paint
  • standalone play
  • read
  • watch TV
  • etc.

In this case, it is important that the activity can be terminated at short notice. For example, one more song and then we get dressed. The television is particularly problematic here since a program can last up to 20 minutes and the temptation to watch it to the end is high.

10. Subroutine: brush your teeth

As previously mentioned, activities can be combined to make them easier to consolidate. A little song helped us brush our teeth. This also requires no radio in the bathroom.

For example, we simply sang the song “Brother Jacob” while brushing our teeth. This was well received by both children, and it made brushing their teeth a lot easier. When we started the song, we started cleaning until everything was clean.

When we left out the song, it was accepted without any problems.

11. Use time for yourself

If you can, establishing a morning routine of your own generally helps. This gives you a little time for yourself. Of course, this is not every time and not possible for everyone.

For me, the nights were very mixed with my little ones. For more than four years, I was able to sleep through maybe 10 times. In such circumstances, it makes more sense to take advantage of every sleeping opportunity.

However, if it is possible for you, try it out for 2 weeks. Plan and get up early and do the activities you have planned.

Is that a better way to start the day? Perfect. Especially in the morning, we have the opportunity to prepare for the day. In addition to some extra time for ourselves, we can also make other preparations so that we can be fully there for our children later.

If you’re not a morning person, you can go back to the old pattern. Getting up early isn’t for everyone.

Tips for daily routines

Routines are also possible and helpful during the day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s homework, learning, going for a walk, exercising, or simply cooking, there are many activities we can do with our children. Whether together or alone, they bring structure to our everyday lives.

The younger our children are, the more help they need to establish routines. But teenagers can also need help here. If you haven’t learned helpful routines when you’re young, they will rarely develop on their own later on. Especially with children and teens, routines have to be changed from time to time or new ones have to be invented. After all, needs and opportunities also change over time.

It is therefore helpful to give your child the right tools.

12. Allow your child to be independent

The earlier you can transfer tasks to your children, the more valuable it is for their future independence. Of course, you should also pay attention to age-appropriate activities. Tools such as daily planners or schedulers are particularly useful here.

Thanks to these planners, our children can keep track of which activities have already been completed and which are still open. The use of the planner is also to be regarded as a subroutine here. When the routine is established, the planner can be omitted.

13. Breaks for homework

Routine homework is especially important for school children. Coming home can be a trigger for the homework routine.

No matter what the routine looks like in detail. It is important to take breaks. It can look like this, for example:

  • Coming home
  • Eat meal
  • Take a break
  • Do homework

The break should have a fixed duration and last half an hour to an hour. If homework lasts longer than an hour, it is also useful to take breaks between. This should only take 10-15 minutes.

14. Fixed time for homework

Homework times should be fixed. Even if there is no homework to do, the time should be used to study. The following applies here: support your child at the beginning and learn together, if possible. 

This makes learning part of the day. Especially at higher school levels, this approach also makes it easier to absorb the new learning material.  

15. Please don’t hesitate to include media consumption in your daily routine

It is also important to apply routines when consuming media, no matter what kind. In one study, for example, the introduction of regular television time and a sleep schedule had a positive effect on BMI (Body Mass Index).

Due to the regulation of media time, there is little or no discussion about when or how long television can be watched. In this way, children learn how to deal with media and can thus better regulate their consumption themselves.

16. Subroutine: Cooking and family meals

Cooking or eating together can also be used as a routine. The family comes together when cooking and eating together. This can take some of the hustle and bustle out of everyday life and allow us to focus on the important things.

It is advisable to review the day of each individual. This creates family time and promotes exchange and openness. This is especially important for later childhood and adolescence because then our children tend to tell us very little.

17. Subroutine: hobbies, sports, etc.

So far, it has mainly been about family activities. Although homework can be done with classmates and friends, it is often done at home. When it comes to sports and hobbies, however, we quickly come to external activities.

Even if we have less influence on implementing such activities, these activities are based on routines. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a football club, a judo course, an e-sports club, or other leisure activities. Processes characterize these and contribute to the regulated process.

Tips for evening routines

Evening routines are especially helpful with young children. But we adults can also benefit from regular evening routines. Evening routines are designed to prepare us for the night.

Our children have the opportunity to calm down and let the day end.

18. Make room for the evening routine

A good evening routine usually consists of 2 phases. In the first phase, quieter activities should be done. That should calm our kids down. In this phase, it is not advisable to frolic or dance wildly.

The second phase is going to bed itself, or rather the sleeping routine. However, this also means that you should plan time for these two phases. One to two hours should be planned for this.


Adapt the first phase to the events of the day. The more that happened that day and the more exciting the day was, the longer the cooldown can be. Discuss the day with your child and review it again.

19. Half an hour for bedtime

The actual evening routine shouldn’t take much longer than 30 minutes. For example, time here begins with brushing their teeth and ends with going to bed. The flow between these key points should be fixed.

Our routine in the evening looked like this when we had toddlers:

  1. Tooth brushing & evening hygiene
  2. put on pajamas
  3. Off to the bedroom
  4. Read an evening story
  5. Going to bed
  6. Lights out
  7. Sing a lullaby three times
  8. Kisses and always wish good night with the same goodbye sentences

Depending on the age of the children, you might stay with the children until they fall asleep. Of course, this time is no longer part of the routine.

In this way, you keep the effort under control and your child still has enough time to calm down and prepare for sleep. If you need tips to calm down after a stressful day, I’ve put them in this article for you.

20. Soothing stories and songs

An important element of the evening ritual are stories and good night songs. Stories shouldn’t be exciting, of course, and it doesn’t hurt if stories and songs are repeated over and over again.

Studies have shown that this help shut down brain activity. This makes songs and stories a “must-have” for every evening routine.


Routines are important for everyday life and can consist of several steps, or simply describe a regulated course of an event. 

The family meal is not a complex process, but it is regulated that, for example, all family members present sit together at the table.

Routines make an enormous contribution to making everyday family life easier, but also in other areas. Especially on difficult days, they give us additional support. I don’t want to say that everything should always be planned and structured. It can also be wild, spontaneous, and surprising. But all too often this happens in our lives anyway, or we often deviate from “everyday life” on weekends, public holidays, and vacations. Variety is just as important to development as routine, so please don’t get me wrong. However, I hope that this article has also given you a better understanding of the importance of routines and the meaning and purpose behind them. And I would be happy if you could take some information or even tips with you.

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