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Routines Play Key Roles In Easing Children’s Anxiety

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Routines Play Key Roles In Easing Children’s Anxiety

A routine will help children feel less anxiety and more stability when it comes to their day-to-day lives.

That’s according to local pediatric occupational therapist Heidi Clopton. Clopton said it’s important for kids to feel like they have a sense of control.

“If there’s a routine established at school and home it actually helps them feel calmer and safer,” Clopton said. “Piaget was a famous psychologist and he established way back in the day that for a child to come out emotionally stable, they have to feel safe and secure. And routines help provide that.”

According to the Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, there is a difference between routines and schedules, but both are important. A schedule is “the big picture and includes main activities that happen across the day.” A routine includes “the steps needed to complete each part of the schedule.”

Clopton said she recommends parents putting checklists in necessary locations around the house to help both kids and themselves. She said that scheduling just thirty minutes of fun will help kids feel as though their time is not scheduled to the minute.

Clopton said checklists and schedules ensure organization, but it’s important to schedule time both free time and bonding time with parents.

“Because we live such busy lives and we are getting back to being out of the house again,” Clopton said. “Your child may have really enjoyed having that, we call it ‘face time’ or ‘floor time’ here in therapy. But just having that time, even scheduled, to sit down with your child, be on the floor with your child if they’re younger, doing what they want to do. Because they are told all day long, even at daycares, even at school, they are told all day long what to do at what time.”

Clopton said that in her 23 years of experience, she has seen a major difference in kids who start routines.


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