(New York - WABC, June 25, 2007) - Putting a child on a schedule can bring order to their topsy- turvy worlds and help them to have fewer meltdowns.
Michelle Charlesworth shows us how a daily routine for kids can be a parent's secret weapon to good behavior.
Routines are a big deal in the Paykin family, like snack time, book time and time for brushing teeth. Sisters, Brook, Willow and Sedona have their daily schedules down. The children's mom says life can be a bit of a free-for all parenting three girls. Routines have brought some structure and in turn stability to their lives. "I see my kids more confident. I see them understanding what to do next. They don't have to think about routines," said the mom. "It lets them to think about other things."
"Routines really help family life run smoothly. They allow children to know what they are supposed to be doing and what they're going to do next," said expert Elizabeth Pflaum. "So in their minds they can plan." Parenting expert Elizabeth Pflaum says things change quickly in children's worlds so it helps to make it more predictable.
To remind kids, especially younger ones, of their schedules, give them visual cues. The sisters have a photo chart outlining each step of their routine. This family plan is working so well. The girls have even asked mom to include sister- time in their daily schedule. It is best to establish routines when kids are toddlers. At younger ages, kids are less likely to protest and it quickly becomes second nature.