A Few Tips on Routine Things
Whew, you found a second to look at Motherburg here. I won’t keep you long. Below are some suggestions for enhancing your child’s routines. Ah, routine, just typing the word makes me cringe. It implies repetition, sameness and lack of spontaneity.
The thing is, routines are actually very meaningful to kids – they give them some order and predictability to their often busy and uncertain days. I chose a few of the most common routines and added resources below.
A key element to bath time is being prepared. Depending on your children’s age/s, they can help you get items needed for bath time. They can find a clean diaper or underwear and choose their pajamas with you.
In the bath, make a routine out of guessing how many cups of water it will take to wash all the shampoo out. Or for younger ones, explore each night, which toys float and which toys sink. Clean up routine: pretend to be a truck making deliveries or a dinosaur coming to eat up the toys, as you put toys away.
There is a whole world of potty training out there. It is quite an achievement for kids and their families when this one is accomplished. Ways to build in routine: have a step stool nearby at all times. This way your child can turn on the light, climb up to the toilet and sink with more independence. Create a basket, bag or pile for bathroom books to stay. Your child can choose which books to bring in and leave in the basket or pile.
Try out songs while waiting to go or while pulling pants up. Clean up routine: with kids in transition, have them throw diapers into the garbage when appropriate. With older kids: sing songs while washing hands, play games about what you see in the mirror and have them turn the light off or shut the door when done.
Ah sleep; it is such a personal matter. I’m always left wondering why kids fight going to sleep. All I can think is EMBRACE THE SLEEP. When you’re older, all you’ll want to do is take a nap, so why not embrace it now…
Some routines for helping your children embrace the sleep: again build them into the routine. Have your children help you squeeze toothpaste onto their toothbrush, pick out bedtime books, turn on the nightlight, etc. Younger children might enjoy putting their favorite animal/doll/car/robot to bed first. Older kids might like ‘reading’ to their favorite toys.
Be sure to have a regular way to exit (whether this means leaving them in their room or you simply staying with them but ending the conversation) – keep it simple and short and then avoid negotiations.
Thanks as always for reading this post. Hope this one was helpful. And here’s to all the routines that you’ll undertake after logging off here.
Vanessa D’Auria is a licensed speech-language pathologist providing home-based services in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. For more information about Vanessa, visit speechtherapyvanessadauria.com or to ask speech/language questions, email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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