School

Setting up a routine at home

It is possible to make the school years less stressful for both children and parents. You only have to set up a new routine at home.

Little children are on their way to school and most parents are already back to work. I know very well that every year, stress affects children as well as parents. Back-to-school often rhymes with anxiety. It is the time when parents spend most of their days in a rush, running in the morning, between school supervision services, homework and lessons, extracurricular activities, evening courses, evening routine and so forth. Don’t panic! You can look at the school year in a way that will be less stressful for the child and also for the parents. Jut put together management structures, or a routine if you prefer. With my suggestions, the whole family will have fine days.

What is a routine?

If you backtrack a little to the first years of your child, without even noticing, you had a well-established routine for your baby’s well-being: feeding, nap and bed times. This was comforting for your baby. Toddlers need stability and continuity. You did not need to picture it or write it down, it was instinctive on your part to do things that way.

First, a routine is a clear and precise schedule that defines what your child has to do and in what order he should do it. Children love when things are organized, even if they tend to complain about the rules. Routine is comforting for a child. It reduces stress and anxiety. A routine may differ from one family to another because we must take our lifestyle into account and the specific needs of each of our children and adapt it as they grow up. It is through a routine that your child will develop a sequence of good habits.

When should it be implemented?

I would tend to say as soon as possible but ideally, it should be implemented around the age of 3. At that age, children would like to control everything and feel capable of doing everything alone but they are still very dependent of adults. Your child can be obedient and charming but he can sometimes turn into a little monster. Therefore, it is important to have a schedule, a routine and tasks because three years old children can take care of a few simple tasks (pick up his toys, put his dirty clothes in the basket, water plants, wipe the table, etc.)

Ideally, children who start school in September should begin their routine at least two weeks before the first day. During the vacations and Holiday season during other occasions, the routine can change, be more flexible but after two months off, you must regain control over your child, structure and supervise him.

The benefits of having a routine
  • Through helping your child to develop a sense of time, he can anticipate the following events.
  • I suggest that separated families discuss this routine because if mom or dad or even the babysitter respects the routine but the others don’t, there will be no consistency and the anxiety of your child will increase. Everyone who surrounds your child must follow the same routine the same way.
  • It also develops his autonomy because in this routine, you will add tasks that must be respected.
  • Respecting the morning and evening routines gives your child a sense of security and stability.
Weekly sample routine (school days)

Morning

Afternoon

Evening

Wake-up

Snack + free time

Free time

Breakfast

Homework + lessons

Bath

Brush teeth

Dinner

Put dirty clothes in basket

Get dressed

Wipe table

Sleep ritual

Help preparing lunch

Play

 

When you decide to set up a routine, you can easily manage discipline. Why don’t you plan the routine along with your child? It will be easier to respect it if he built it with you.

Of course, a routine can be drawn if your child cannot read and you can integrate chores. Your child will be proud and will develop autonomy. Even if your child is little (from3 years old), he will quickly learn the sequence by heart. Ex.: “After my bath, I must put my dirty clothes in the basket” without even looking at the routine table.

Place the schedule in a central place so that your child can refer to it at any time. Positive reinforcement encourages children to pursue the routine and gives his good self-esteem.

This week

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