School may or may not have already started for your little ones, and it’s important to get them back into the swing of things with a routine.
Not only will it help them establish a sense of independence, learn responsibility, not to mention some important executive functioning skills, it will definitely help decrease everyone’s stress in the long run. Here are just a few tips to get you started with a back to school routine.
- Starting a new routine in general can be a daunting task. It may be easier if you start by changing one small thing at a time and build from there. For example, start by simply picking out your clothes to wear the next day, that way you’re not scrambling in the morning. Once you’re able to do that regularly and successfully, introduce something else like brushing your teeth at the same time each morning/night.
Have a routine for the morning and night
- You don’t do the same things in the morning that you do at night to get ready, so it may help to split your routine into morning and night, and have a visual for each. Breaking things down into smaller pieces is a great way to decrease the stress of getting ready.
Start practicing before school starts or on weekends if you can
- Jumping right into a whole new routine as soon as school starts can be a recipe for disaster. Many of us (me included) thrive on practicing beforehand. Sometimes we need to learn how to do some of these skills independently before having them on our schedule. Sometimes there are things that your child already knows how to do on their own, and you end up discovering something else that he or she needs help with daily. Starting a new routine is a lifestyle change, and that doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need some room for trial and error. If school has already started, try starting to practice on the weekends only.
Try using a reward chart, if that’s appropriate for your child
- If you need a little more motivation, using a reward chart can help. If your child wants to earn something for accomplishing everything on their checklist daily or weekly, you can implement that.
- Keep in mind, however, that there are pros and cons to this, so try it out first to assess if using one is something that your child actually enjoys using and is successful with.
Use a checklist
- If you’re a visual person, seeing everything that needs to be done can be helpful. Use a visual checklist and put it somewhere that everyone in the house can see it like the refrigerator, in the living room, or on a bedroom wall (which can also help with accountability). Being able to physically check things off gives a sense of accomplishment which increases the chances that you’ll continue to use it.
Does having a daily routine help keep your house organized and stress-free? Leave a comment and let me know!