Children naturally crave consistency, predictability and structure in their days. After all, they are learning about the world for the first time, and that can be scary. Keeping their schedule consistent helps kids feel safe and secure and gives them the confidence they need to explore. To create a schedule for your child, follow these tips:
Keep It Simple
You don’t need to schedule every minute. Just start by scheduling the basics: bedtime, wake-up time, nap time, mealtimes, bath time, play time, chores. Write down the schedule in big letters, add some simple pictures, and hang it where your child can see it. That way, when there’s an argument about what to do next, you can simply point to the schedule.
Keep It Realistic
As you know, kids take a long time to do just about anything. Make sure that when you create a schedule, you leave enough time to get things done. If you don’t leave enough time to complete tasks, the schedule will be frustrating for both you and your child.
Give Your Child Choices
Kids like to feel part of the decision-making process. So, build in opportunities for them to choose. Just make sure they are choosing between two healthy options! For example, when getting dressed, give them the choice between a red shirt and a blue shirt.
Set Rules and Enforce Consequences
Be consistent in enforcing your rules. For example, if teeth must be brushed before going to the park, you may have to skip the park if your child refuses to brush their teeth. If you are consistent, they’ll soon understand the rules.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
If different caregivers follow different routines, it can be very confusing for your child. When you establish a routine, be sure to share it with anyone who takes care of your child and explain why it’s important that everyone follow the plan (even you, Grandma!).
Next time, join us as we take a look at ways to create a time-saving morning routine.