It’s late. I’m exhausted. But, I know that if I don’t keep myself distracted by something useful, like writing on my blog… I will go down a rabbit hole of social media coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have been quiet on my blog. Life was busy. Like many people, I was hoping for more time to do all the things on my to-do list (like the 7 billion half-completed resources sitting in my “to finish” folder on my desktop). Right now, I’m realizing that being busy – rushing the kids to activities after school, having places to go and people to see – all that… was more important than my to do list and the lack of time I had to tackle it.
Needless to say, life is chaotic and THIS is why our children need routines now more than ever.
I know that there are many who feel that this is a time to lay low on the routine… but after a week of trialling both, I have to say that our ‘best’ days were the ones where we had structure.
It turns out the even the CDC encourages this on their website, where they describe 3 keys to building structure:
The follow-through and consistency refers to consequences for behaviour. I have some ideas on that… but might save it for another post 😉
Predictability refers to the idea of making daily routines, schedules, and rules predictable. Doing this provides the following:
- A predictable routine offers stability during times of change or stress. It instils a sense of calmness.
- Routines also provide children with a sense of independence. If they know what’s coming up next… they can do it… independently!! THIS one is important, especially since many of us are working from home during this pandemic and rely on our kids to be a bit more independent than usual.
- It establishes expectations. For instance, my children know that “TV time” comes after “tidy up time”. It’s in our routine and as a result, they are very clear on this expectation! This means that I also have a sense of calmness about the parts of my day when toys are strewn everywhere, because I know that by “TV time” everything will be put away – for me that’s important because a clean and organized home calms me. So, it turns out that routines are also important for us grown ups too!
The way I have set up a predictable daily routine is through the use of my schedule cards with visuals! The visuals are SO important for my little one so that she can see, at a glance, what’s coming up in our day (she is just learning to read). The pictures don’t hurt older kids either – just makes it cute!
This is what they look like:
So, if you need some order in your life, and if you need a schedule that kids of any age can follow, then sign up below to get the cards emailed to you!!