Lack of Routines Costs Children Heavily

Here’s some research evidence to support something that I’ve written about on this blog a number of times – the price that children pay due to lack of routine and sensible bed times/ sleep habits at home:

BBC Article – Academic Cost of Low Routine

This isn’t necessarily a comfortable message for modern parents who tend towards the ‘spontaneous’, or who are employing others (often with limited or low levels of skills training) to manage these aspects of their child’s life. It’s perfectly possible to justify ‘outsourcing’ many aspects of life. However, when parents see evidence like this they may start to wonder whether the price their child will pay in later years (perhaps through the rest of their life) is worth the immediate benefits to them.

To me, the lower academic results are one aspect worthy of concern, but of far greater concern are the emotional aspects. I think we have to acknowledge that when a child is learning and growing they contend with so many things which are stretching, challenging and mentally tiring. In order to cope well with all of this, some certainties need to exist in their lives and the best of these are related to time – certain things happening consistently at set times.

This doesn’t preclude the one-off exception. In fact, when there are routines such an exception stands out as more special, as something of a treat. However, all too many are allowing the exceptions to become the norm.

Our self discipline can be an enormous benefit in the lives of our children.


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