Always running late? You can blame your tardiness on your parents, study finds
Do you feel like you are forever running late, always arriving – in a panic – 15 minutes after everyone else?
What about when it comes to getting things done? Having a tough time seeing projects through without getting distracted half-way?
Well guys, it looks like you might have your parents to thank for this.
How, you may ask? Well, it seems having a freewheeling, unpredictable daily home life as a child may have long-lasting negative effects, according to new research.
A study at the University of Albany, published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, found that children who grow up with predictable daily routines are less likely to have time management or attention problems as young adults.
As part of the study, researchers asked 292 undergraduates to assess the level of regularity of a variety of activities and routines from their childhood, including meals, extracurricular activities, sleeping habits and time spent with friends and family.
And what they found, maybe unsurprisingly, was that students who reported having more consistency in their daily lives as children tended to have fewer issues with attention and time management now as adults. As well as this, in other studies, the same research team showed that children with a more regular routine also have better self-control and reduced anxiety and depression as adults.
This is what Dr. Jennifer Malatras, a psychologist at the University of Albany and the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post about the study:
“This study is part of a broader line of research exploring the relationship between the stability of the family environment and adjustment in children, adolescents and emerging adults,” Malatras explains. “Our research suggests greater regularity in family activities and routines is associated with fewer problems overall, and, importantly, we believe it may be possible to improve the regularity of family routines even when it may be less feasible to alter more global aspects of family stability.”
You don't need to tell most parents that children thrive with routines. It provides them with familiarity and feels safe and known.
"Routines are likely to contribute to a sense of security and control over one’s environment," Malatras explains.
"Children who know what to expect on a day-to-day basis are more likely to feel a sense of stability in their family than those whose daily schedules are more erratic."
In fact, many other psychologists have also suggested that routines give children a sense of stability and comfort, and recommend that parents establish a rhythm of daily activities and traditions early in a child’s life.“Building routines with your children helps them feel safe,” Australian child psychologist Danielle Kaufman said in a recent interview. “They know what to expect when they go home, and it provides them with clear boundaries, expectations, and consistency.”
How important are routines in YOUR household? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie