It is times like this that I want to go back to my past self and give myself a high five!! The routines we put in place when our son was 3 years old or younger are still in place with some minor changes through the years and they are still working well 9 years later!! Bliss, I tell you!
Schedule Versus Routine
A routine is a series of things we do before or after an event.
A schedule is based on set times when certain events occur.
Schedules and Routines both have their place.
I find that set schedules do not work as well with infants but having a variety of routines in place does work well.
We used to have a screen time schedule here which worked like a charm! Our son watched a show at about 8 am, 11 am (when he is home), and 4 pm. We did have to be a bit flexible but we put in this place because he would focus hugely on watching his programs. “Can I watch a show” (over and over).
Once the set times were in place, the constant asking for a show came to a complete stop. My response was “yes you can at __ time”. After staying consistent with this for a while he really took to it.
As he has grown we have been able to be way more flexible. He knows his time limits and he works with them.
What are the benefits of routines and schedules??
When children know what to expect, they feel more secure and are more willing to follow through with tasks.
I often have parents ask why their child is so well-behaved at daycare or school and not as much at home. The first thing is that children will unload their feelings at home where they feel safe. The second thing is that there is a great deal of structure with routines and schedules so the children know what to expect.
I often recommend that parents maintain similar schedules and routines at home.
You may find that you continue certain routines from your childhood. It is really cool how routines and schedules can really help children feel safe, secure, and be willing to do the steps without even realizing it.
I have to admit that our morning routine is my favourite.
- Come in and give mom a hug
- Snuggles with Mom and/or Dad
- Get Dressed
- Start watching You-Tube (Pause when breakfast is ready)
- Eat Breakfast
- Brush Teeth
- Put on socks
- Finishing watching You-Tube while getting the outdoor gear on
- Out the Door
It typically is very smooth and we have been doing a routine similar to this since he was 3!
There are a few things that you can do to help your child get familiar with a routine.
- Be consistent
- Use visuals (written list for older children and list using pictures for younger children)
- Use verbal reminders
- Use a timer to remind your child when they have to move to the next step
You can use routines throughout your day! Have fun fitting in the routines and do not forget to make them a little fun for your child as well!!
If you would like some help figuring out how routines and schedules can help your family, please feel free to book a free 15-minute consult to ask how I can help. You can book the free call by clicking on the following link 15-minute free call
Below is the video I did about routines and schedules. Feel free to listen…