Across the world, people are finding their lives turned upside down. With stay-at-home orders provided by the government, parents are finding themselves needing to keep their kids occupied 24/7. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to develop a routine to help make life a little easier for you and your kids
(1) Create a to-do list for each day
Older kids and teenager are likely capable of making this list for themselves, however younger kids may need some extra support. For younger kids, you may want to provide a visual schedule that they can reference to guide them through their day. A visual schedule is similar to a list of items, but it also incorporates pictures which helps kids who may not be able to read yet. Many schools use these to guide the school day, so it will likely provide a sense of comfort for them to have something familiar.
To follow the visual schedule, your child should review the schedule, and then go to the activity that is listed. Once that activity is done, they will check it off of their list, and move on to the next activity. Younger children will likely need more support the first few days that you use the schedule, however, once they get the hang of it, they will rely less on you- leaving you time to do your own work (or even work on some self-care!)
(2) Get ready and change clothes at the beginning of each day
Changing out of pajamas in the morning will help the whole family stay on track to complete what they set out for each day. You can even include this as part of the daily visual schedule for younger kids- this could be a great opportunity to teach them to be a little more independent in the mornings, since you don’t need to rush them off to school
(3) Find a way to let out some physical energy
Being stuck in the house can cause frustration and pent up energy. When kids are feeling frustrated, they will have more difficulty concentrating and are less likely to follow directions. You can mitigate this problem by providing them some time set aside each day to get their wiggles out. Whether it is ‘Sweating to the Oldies’ or some ‘Go Noodle’ videos, encouraging your kid to move a few times a day will make the rest of the day easier for everybody
Here are some links to our favorite kid-friendly videos to get your kids moving
(4) Keep bedtime constant, and stick with a routine
Many children (and adults) sleep better if they have the same routine every night and if they go to bed at approximately the same time each day. Although you probably don’t need to wake us as early, it will still be beneficial to keep a routine. Routines make children feel secure, and the more they practice the same routine, the more compliant they will be when you ask them to get ready for bed.
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