By Sarah Ingram, Head of Parenting and Development at Fegans
Heading back to school after the summer holidays can be a stressful time for both children and parents. The holidays are long, and body clocks and pace of life changes, only to snap back into structure and routine in September, which can feel quite harsh, especially if the weather cools.
Routine however gives our children great structure at any time of the year. Routine makes children feel safe, as they have a natural human fear of the unknown, it also helps them master new skills and learn to take control of their own lives.
Top tips on creating a routine:
Stick to your routine every day, until it becomes a natural healthy habit.
Mastering new skills:
Depending on your child’s age or development use the routine to master new skills, putting on shoes/making the bed. This will set time every day for you and your child to work together, saving time and stress going forward.
One thing at a time:
If we ask our children to go upstairs, make their bed, clean their teeth and put on their socks, they will get upstairs and wonder what they were meant to be doing. Ask children to do one thing at a time, when they do it praise them, and ask them to do the next thing.
Routines need not dampen creativity, schedule in a trip to the park or playtime, this will help your child with delayed gratification, look forward to complete downtime, and help them appreciate their freedom more when it comes.
The routine can help bonding with your child, use time together in the routine to talk about everyday activities, sing a song, tell a story, and explain the benefits of healthy habits, such as brushing your teeth and organising homework.
A place to start:
- Get up and get dressed
- Make bed
- Eat breakfast
- Brush your teeth and wash your hands and face
- Pack your school bag and check you have everything you need
- Hang up coat
- Change into home clothes
- Have a snack
- Empty your school bag
- Do home work
- Tidy up time
- Wash and/or bath
- Staying in bed