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Setting a Schedule or Routine for your Children

Routines and structure are good for kids. It helps them feel secure, it reduces feelings of uncertainty, and it goes a long way towards minimising the struggle to get your kids to do what you want.

ChildsActivityChartIt is a good idea to have a daily schedule pinned up in the home where everyone can see it. Each child can be mentioned by name, and it's not a bad idea to put the mothers and fathers schedule in there too, if only to show to the kids that everyone has to live by one.

The next thing to say is that you shouldn't become obsessed in keeping to the schedule. Most days will have some minor variation from it and on some days you'll wonder why you ever bothered to make one at all.

When drafting you schedule up, start with the most important fixed points of the day. The time to be out of bed by, breakfast, lunch and dinner times, followed by bed time.

Filling-in the intermediate steps will be relatively easy. Just remember the basics of meal-time: Make them too early and the child won't be hungry enough to be interested in  keeping still enough to eat. Make them too far after the previous meal and their blood sugar will be low and they will become irritable and uncooperative. I like to make the evening fairly early to give then enough time to wind down for bed.

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