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 7 years later!! Bliss I tell you!
A routine is a series of things we do before or after an event. A schedule is based on set times 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 really well.
We have a screen time schedule here which works like a charm! Our son watches a show at about 8 am, 11 am (when he is home), and 4 pm. We do have to be a bit flexible but we put in this place we would focus hugely on watching his programs. Once the set times were in place the constant asking for a show came to a complete stop. My response is “yes you can at __ time”. After staying consistent with this for a while he really took to it.
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 favorite.
- 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
- Call Grandma (does not happen as often – he sleeps in!)
- 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 https://calendly.com/brenda-mcsween/15min.
Below is the video I did and based this blog post on. Feel free to listen…