Routine, the famous routine! This is probably the word used the most in January by parents. For children, hearing this word must be like denying them to watch their favourite TV program on Saturday morning, or forcing them to wash dishes for the whole neighbourhood. You quickly get fed up of routine.
On the other hand, for children and many adults, routine is very important and reassuring. It creates a structure and a comforting feeling about what is coming up. Now, how do you make a routine enjoyable? What should we do to make our children look forward to this famous routine?
My first advice : Involve your children! They will feel important and have a sense of accomplishment if they help you devise the schedule. They have preferences as to which activities and when to have them, you just might be impressed with their suggestions.
My second advice : Make the routine visually attractive. For example get a coloured cardboard and ask your child to draw sequences of the various days. If your child is not the artist type, pictures can be found in magazines or on the internet.
My third advice : Respect as closely as possible what is implemented. Schedules are essential and minor changes can create significant disorganization. We very well know that with children it is sometimes difficult to respect a schedule. Be prepared with backup plans and surprise activities.
My last advice : Save time during the week to have fun with your child. Moments shared with your children are magical. Baking chocolate cookies, tea time with dolls or small car races will make your child happy.
Happy return to the famous routine and enjoy precious moments of happiness!
Élyse Pomerleau – Social work Technician