The Parenting Tool of this past week was Routines. We are big into routines in our house! We start with routines in infancy. It really seems like babies do so much better when they can predict what comes next in their day. We follow the same general routine each day. Naps, meals, potty time, errands, etc are done around the same time and in the same order each day. Bedtime is the most specific routine for us. We bathe him, sing the same song while messaging him, then jammies, story, and bed. Even if our whole day has been off routine we try to come back to the bedtime routine. It makes for a much more peaceful night.
With our 5 year old we continue to use routines. Now that she can read and write she creates her own routine lists and check lists. When she was younger we used pictures and guided her a bit in creating the chart, but that is not necessary any more. She actually likes to change her routine chart frequently to suite her mood, but I figure that as long as she gets it all done that is what is important. Routine charts take the argument out our of the day, not all arguments of course, but some at least! They provide us with a general "rule" of what is to be done, and since she created the "rule" it is much easier to follow.
The Mary Tamborski Blog has a great description of the use of routines with children between the ages of my children!
I think the overall thing to remember is that routines need to grow and develop with your child and they need to be created with your child once the child is developmentally ready!
This week we will work with the Parenting Tool: Special Time!