The benefits of starting a routine early on

MOMSEVERYDAY -- Experts in Human Development say routines may be a critical part of getting kids ready for kindergarten.

For Davis Patterson, helping his dad in the kitchen is a daily afternoon ritual. He’s learning first-hand about meal preparation and nutrition, and he’s engaging in behavior that may have also prepared him for school. Kristen Bub of the University of Illinois and her colleague at Auburn University found that regular family routines started as early as 14 months predicted a child’s readiness for kindergarten.

"Routines are really critical for children’s ability to sort of regulate those emotions and to interact in a socially appropriate way," Bub says.

She and her colleagues studied data from over 3,000 children and found those with more routines were less likely to exhibit bad behavior and hyperactivity. More routines also predicted better academic skills.

Using activity or chore charts can help parents create routines.

For more ways to make Mom’s life easier, visit I’m Chelsey Anderson.