Why is Family Routine Important?

Maintaining normal daily routines as much as possible can make it easier for your children to deal with stressful events, such as the birth of a new child, a divorce, the illness or death of a family member, or a move to a new house or community.

Routines are how families organise themselves to get things done, spend time together and have fun. Routines help family members know who should do what, when, in what order and how often.

For example, your family might have:

  • daily routines for getting everyone ready in the morning, bath time, bedtime and mealtimes, greetings and goodbyes
  • weekly routines for housework, like washing and cleaning
  • other routines involving holidays and extended family get-togethers.

Family life might be more chaotic without some routine, but there’s more to it than that. Routines also let your children know what’s important to your family.

In general routine has the following benefits for children:

  • They can be a way of teaching younger children healthy habits, like brushing their teeth, getting some exercise, or washing their hands after using the toilet.
  • An organized and predictable home environment helps children and young people feel safe and secure.
  • Routines built around fun or spending time together strengthen relationships between parents and children. Reading a story together before bed can become a special time for you and your children to share.
  • Daily routines help set our body clocks. For example, bedtime routines help children’s bodies ‘know’ when it’s time to sleep.
  • Having an important job to do in the family routine helps older children and teenagers develop a sense of responsibility.
  • Routines help develop basic work skills and time management.
  • When children reach adolescence, the familiarity of regular home routines can help them feel looked after. Predictable family routines can be a welcome relief from the changes they’re experiencing.

Routines take some effort to create. But once established, they have lots of benefits for parents:

  • Regular and consistent routines can help you feel like you’re doing a good job as a parent.
  • When things are hectic, routines can help you feel more organized, which lowers stress.
  • A routine will help you complete your daily tasks efficiently.
  • As children get better at following a routine by themselves, you can give fewer instructions and nag less.
  • Routines free you from having to constantly resolve disputes and make decisions. If Sunday night is pizza night, no-one needs to argue about what’s for dinner.

The routines adopted by families are as diverse as families themselves. Here are some routines you might want to consider for your family.

Toddlers and preschoolers

  • Getting ready in the morning
  • Going to bed at night
  • Regular ‘playdates’
  • Eating meals
  • Regular play and talk times with a parent each day
  • Story time (book reading)
  • Quiet time each evening

School-age children

  • Hygiene and health – for example, brushing teeth and washing hands
  • Tidying up, looking after toys
  • Caring for pets
  • Regular ‘playdates’
  • Pocket money, given at a regular time and day
  • Helping with the laundry
  • After-school activities
  • Age Appropriate Chores – for example, setting the dinner table, packing away, unpacking the dishwasher
  • Hobbies or sport


  • Using family resources like the computer and telephone
  • Doing laundry or other chores
  • Homework
  • Hobbies or sport
  • After-school activities
  • Making beds and cleaning rooms

All ages

  • Preparing and eating meals together
  • Family days (family activities)
  • Family DVD nights
  • Family meetings
  • Taking turns talking about the day
  • Special one-to-one time with a parent
  • Regular contact with extended family and friends
  • National/state/local celebration days, annual fetes or outings
  • Saying prayers or observing religious events

There’s no rule about how many or what kind of routines you should have. What works well for one family might be too restrictive for another.

Next blog we will explore step by step how to develop a Family Routine and implement it in our households.

Adapted from:


Blog Author
Sofia Neves
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