Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Routine Tips for Parents

It can be a trying time as your child grows older and schedules get tighter. They want to do one thing, but you need to get two other children to different practices and to the grocery store so that you have something to eat for the next few weeks. As a mother of three boys, I know from experience that the following tips will help your child as he or she transitions through life and get on board with daily routines.

Take the time to think about your child's day from the time he or she gets up until bedtime and create a schedule. You can then see possibilities of what you could change or do differently to help your child with daily routines.

One example might be eliminating going to the grocery store before you pick your child up from school. Could you go to the grocery store before you pick up your child? It might be easier for you both.

Be prepared for any down time by caring a bag of tricks with books, small toys or coloring books in your car or purse for those times you are waiting or stopped at train tracks.

Creating a consistent routine for your child will let them know what to expect every day, and it becomes easier for you and the child. When a change of schedule arises, talk about it in advance if possible.

When at home, have activities that you can pull out while you are busy with things like housework or phone calls.

Have a special box or container that is separate from the everyday toys. And let the child know they can only be played with when you get them out so you can play together.

Take time to play with your child each day. Turn off the TV. Put on some music. It's good for brain development and also gets everyone moving. Look at photo albums and tell stories about the people in the photos. Sing together into a pretend microphone.

Turn these sometimes-stressful times into fun, magical times that will create wonderful memories for you and your children.

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