Routines may seem boring to adults, but children thrive on them. Daily routines:
- Make children feel secure.
- Promise them comfort.
- Make them feel in control.
Routines provide a framework for the child’s day. Children like knowing:
- What’s coming and what’s happening.
- When things will happen, as well as.
- The order of events.
Children like sameness and repetition. Routines provide children with consistency and security. Routines also help them move from one activity to the next.
Routines develop out of your own family’s daily habits. Encourage your children to become as independent as possible in carrying out certain basic routines. These routines include dressing, undressing, napping, using the toilet and cleaning up. Slowly they will be able to do these things without your assistance.
Here are some rules and guidelines you can use each day so that your child knows what to expect.
- Get up at a set time, start off with affection.
- Personal grooming: brush teeth, wash face, comb hair, and get dressed.
- Breakfast time.
Leave for work or school routine:
- A special goodbye, kisses, or wave from the window.
Going to school routine:
- Take the same route each day.
- Sing along or listen to the same songs.
Getting home routines:
- Play together.
- Homework for older children.
- Set the table for dinner.
- Have all meals at consistent times.
- Say grace if you normally do.
- Talk about your day.
- Listen to music.
- Consider set food days, like pizza every Friday.
Clean up routines:
- Get your children in the habit of picking up after themselves.
- Have them start by picking up after one toy or putting away one piece of their clothing.
Nap time routines: for young children
- Stop active play and have some quite time.
- Play music and dim the lights.
- Read stories.
Leaving routines: from the sitters, grandmas
- Give hugs or maybe sing a goodbye song.
- Remind the child of something they have to look forward to at home.
- Set predictable routines for personal care, like brushing teeth, washing hands, and bath time.
Homework routine: from kindergarten and up
- Do homework in the same place and the same time. Before dinner is often a good time.
- Review your child’s homework every day and stay in touch with teachers.
After dinner routine:
- Playtime as a family.
Bed time routine
- Bath time
- Story time
- Lights out
Routines can make every family life run more easily and save you planning time. Once you have set up routines, try to stick to them even when you have visitors or are on vacation.
Source: Positive Parenting