Posted by: ad65shorty | October 16, 2009

The Importance of Routine

I’m up and running–sort of! We have a new computer set up with internet. We don’t have any word processing or my photo software downloaded yet. And we are still working on getting the info off of my hard drive (my “expert” just got back into town today). This will continue to take time and patience–mainly on my part. In the meantime, I thought I could at least do a couple of posts without pictures and answer a couple of questions I’ve received lately.

A couple of you have asked about discipline and behavioral issues. A couple of you have asked about my daily routine. So, I thought this could be a good post for the upcoming weekend. Please keep in mind that although I have studied child development for many years and been a teacher of young children, I do not have all the answers, nor am I an expert. I will offer my own thoughts and advice and share what has worked for me. With that being said, here goes!

Kids of all ages thrive on routine. It helps them feel secure and calm, and may even help them cope better with changes that do come. Studies show that kids who have a routine at home also have higher self-esteem. I feel that having a routine throughout the day helps a lot with “behavioral issues.” When children don’t know what to expect, there can be too many “unknowns,” which can lead to anxiety and acting out.

My son, as a toddler, needed a very strict schedule. I even went to the extreme of having pictures posted on the fridge that moved him from one activity to the next. As he has grown older, we are definitely not as structured (because he doesn’t need that anymore), but still keep to a basic routine. My daughter, on the other hand, is what I refer to as “passionate” and more of a “free-spirit.” She can go from one thing to another without any problem; change doesn’t seem to affect her as deeply. Yes, we still keep to a basic routine throughout our day though. Our family thrives on a flexible routine–they know what comes next, but they also know there are days that will vary.

So, here’s what our daily schedule looks like. Realize that the times are VERY flexible and things do vary from day-to-day, such as violin lessons on Tuesdays and storytime on Thursdays, but this is the basic routine that we follow day in and day out.

7:00–Breakfast and cartoons

8:00–Exercise/outdoor time

9:00–Get ready, morning chores, and free play for the kids 🙂

10:00–Preschool with Mom (we do a theme a week with corresponding activities, a reading skill, a math skill, and a nursery rhyme)

11:00–Play with Mom (good quality time)

11:30/12:00–Lunch (after lunch, they usually free play for a bit while I clean up; sometimes I join them)

1:00–Quiet time/naps

2:00–My son gets one-on-one time with me while my daughter sleeps

2:30–Practice violin/snack

3:00–Outside time

4:00–Arts and crafts while Mom makes dinner

5:00–Daddy home/Dinner

Evenings are very, very flexible!

7:30–Baths/Bed

 

As I said, this is very flexible, but my children do know what is coming next from day-to-day. I also realize that my schedule is probably more rigid than most because that’s what I thrive on. You have to do what works for you.

In closing, I wanted to share a couple of links I found about the importance of routine and structure in a child’s life from “experts.” I hope that if you’re having problems with your child, this may inspire you to try something new. I’m also wondering what you do; what works for you. Please share!

http://www.rexanne.com/routine.html

http://www.childcaremagazine.us/ArchivesFolder/Issue50/BehaviorManagement50.htm

http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/discipline/importance_of_routines.html

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/family_routines_how_and_why_they_work.html/context/312

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Responses

  1. Angie,

    Glad to hear that your files are slowly starting to transfer.

    I’ve been meaning to ask you if you have any references to refer me to, for doing my own home pre-school for my son. It doesn’t need to be anything formal, I’m just curious as to where to start and what will match his age. He turned 2 in August.

    Keep up the gr eat work!
    Melissa


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