Do you struggle in the mornings to get your family up and ready for the day? Do you find it difficult to get your children to bed at a decent time? Establishing predictable routines make children feel safe and secure and can help reduce stress for everyone, including yourself.
A calm morning routine at home sets the tone for the rest of your child's day.
- Use a visual schedule with photos, clipart or objects that clearly show your child the steps in their morning routine. This can help them understand what is next in the morning routine and build independence with these skills.
- Allow for choices, such as what they would like to eat for breakfast (cereal or eggs?).
- Include bonding time in your morning routine. Read, bathe or cuddle to set a positive tone to the day.
- Encourage your child to follow the routine by providing positive specific praise. "Wow you got up and dressed all by yourself! What a great help you are!"
Bedtime is a daily opportunity for you to build and nurture a positive relationship with your child. It also teaches your child the skills they need to relax and transition from a busy day to restful sleep.
- Set a consistent bedtime and watch for signs of sleepiness.
- Use a visual schedule just like your morning routine.
- Implement calm activities during the hours before bed. Bathe, read books or listen to calming music.
- Plan ahead: With your child, choose their clothes for the next day. Pack their lunch.
- Explain what will happen when your child wakes up. Children can resist sleep if they are afraid they will miss out on something. Reassure them that tomorrow will be filled with fun.