This month we will be sharing all about family routines and structures. We all know how much children thrive in an environment where they know what to expect. The reality, however, is that all of these structures and routines take work to implement. We want to give you guys some ideas this month of ways you can begin to slowly add some more rhythms in your daily life with your kids.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re looking at your specific family, is that everyone in the family has a place. Don’t discount a toddler or preschooler from contributing to the family in his or her own way. Sit down with your family (or husband/wife if you have small kids) and come up with a list of ideas about how your children can participate more in the daily routines of the family. Do you always need someone to clear the dishes off the breakfast or dinner table? Do you open the garage door every day when you leave for school/work? Do you need someone to carry the toys upstairs at the end of the day? Even these small ways can include even the smallest kids to learn how to participate in the family.
Once you decide on a list of 10 or so items, each week you can gradually help you children add those to their daily routines. Tell them about the new routine at a time that’s not when the event is happening. Then, when the time comes the next day, have them participate with you. The following day they can start to do it on their own!
Take your time and if it doesn’t come second nature right away, don’t get frustrated with your child. Maybe you can continue to help them or co-regulate as we like to say (for a while) until they get it down pat!