How to Help Kids Maintain a Routine

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Having a routine helps kids understand what activities to do and when. It gives them a structure, making it easier to finish their chores/activities on time. However, not every child likes to follow a routine as they find it tedious or stressful, especially if they are new to it. If you are looking for tips to help your kiddos maintain a routine, here are a few that might prove helpful.

1. Set the routine with your kid

Let them make the call no matter how tempted you are to set up the routine for them. After all, they must follow the schedule, so make them part of the decision-making process. Plus, if the kids fix their schedule, they feel responsible for it and are more likely to follow it.

2. Set a realistic routine

kids routine
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Don’t expect your child to get straight to their homework after returning from school. It will be too tiring and stressful for them, making them unwilling to follow the rest of the routine. Instead, plan things per your kid’s ability. Focus on prioritizing what’s important and can be done in a given time frame. Practicality is key when trying to nail a routine that works for you and your little one.

3. Put the routine into writing

If your kid can’t read big words yet, put picture schedules to indicate if it’s time to play, read, or do another activity. Be it kids or adults, everyone needs reminders. So, write the routine on paper and stick it in their room, the kitchen, or a common area so the kids can see and follow it easily.

Just be mindful not to pack their routines full of activities. They will feel overwhelmed with the scheduling. Depending on their age, keep the routine to three to six items daily.

4. Make switching fun

kids routine
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Moving between activities takes work for kids. So, try to make their transition as fun as possible. For instance, if your kid’s playtime is over and they now have to do their homework, remind them that their activity time is about to end. In between, give them some of their favorite snacks or play music to make the transition fun for the kids.

5. Give your kids time to settle into the new routine

Don’t expect your child to follow the new routine right away. That is unrealistic. Instead, give them some time (five to seven days) to settle in. Start with 1-2 activities on the timetable, like going to bed and waking up, and then gradually proceed to other activities. Once your kid is comfortable with the schedule, make sure they stick to it.

Above all, ensure your child understands the importance of following a routine and how it can help them in their day-to-day activities. Be a role model for your kids and follow a routine yourself to show them how effective they are.

However, be flexible with the routine. If your child is not willing to follow a routine during their holidays, agree with them and let them enjoy the holidays their way. You can negotiate on sleep and wake-up time, but nothing more. When you give kids the freedom to enjoy a holiday, they will willingly follow the routine during their school time, making things easier for you.

So, parents, sit with your kids, discuss their routines, and draft them accordingly. Also, share your experience in the comment section below.

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