Family brushing their teeth in the bathroom

How important are routine and transition times to children?

In *All, Youth, Family, & Communities by AgIsAmerica

A typical day begins with an alarm, breakfast, and a trip to work, followed by lunch, a trip back home, an evening meal, then a moment of rest before heading to bed to do it all over again the next morning. Over the years, these small transitions that adults see as part of their daily routines become almost automatic.

While most enjoy the consistency, we often neglect to think about how our bodies and minds process these changes and transitions between activities throughout the day. Even more importantly, as adults with years of practice and experience, we forget to recognize just how difficult these transitions can be for young children. That’s why Iowa State University’s Extension and Outreach program developed a program meant to help children manage these small daily transitions.

Parents can plan ahead to help their children prepare for small daily changes in routine. Cindy Thompson, a human sciences specialist, explains that parents can help their “child lay out clothes for the next day, find shoes and school supplies. We forget that children do not have the years of experience that we, as parents, have. We are used to getting out the door each day. What might feel like over-preparing to us is actually exactly what young children need to successfully navigate transitions.”

As any parent of a young child knows, you take all the advice you can get. Read the university’s tips here:

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