Our beautiful fourth child will start 3 year old preschool this time next week. As he has three older siblings, he is actually quite used to getting up and out the door every morning during school terms, but I wanted to make the start of preschool a bit special for him.
It was just my luck then to tune in to one of my favourite podcasts Parenting Unplugged and hear Laura talk about how she created routine charts with her sons. I am big fans of Todd and Laura who host Parenting Unplugged. This year they are taking up the challenge that Single Dad Brad has going on at his blog. Brad is making 2010 a year to improve his parenting skills, using the Positive Discipline Tool Cards.
Each week Brad chooses a card and focuses on that parenting skill for the week and then posts about his progress. Laura created the routine charts for her boys following Brad’s lead on selecting the Routine Card:
Help children create routine charts to encourage responsibility.
1. Create routine charts WITH your child.
2. Brainstorm tasks that need to be done.
(bedtime, morning, homework, etc.)
3. Take pictures of child doing each task.
4. Let the routine chart be the boss:
“What is next on your routine chart?”
5. Do not take away from feelings of capability by adding rewards.
So inspired by Brad and Laura, we made a preschool morning routine chart for him. We photographed his activities and had him enact some that he will need to do on the morning that he has preschool and then printed them out to stick on the wall for him to follow.
What I loved the most about this process was how much my three year old enjoyed it. We actually has to print out two copies, because he wanted to hold and read over and over again his routine. I think having had him being involved in the making of his routine, will mean that when he needs redirecting in the morning, it will be easy to point him to his routine chart and allow him to work out what he should be doing.
I have included a blank template (word document) below for those of you who might like to try and make your own routine chart.
Want the kids to be more independent and help around the home?
Sometimes it just feels easier to do things for the kids because it takes them longer or they don’t do it as well. But this is really a very short term saving. In the long term we want to create independent and capable kids who can not only get themselves ready for school, but also contribute to the household task workload as well. Strategies to do this is just part of what I share in my e-course Planned + Present. The course has already helped hundreds of women to do the same and I would love to help you too!
Planned + Present is a seven week e-course to take you from feeling our of control and overwhelmed to feeling planned and present. It is a step-by-step guide on how to organise the chaos of family life while still leaving space to enjoy it.
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To find out more about Planned & Present and sign up for the course head here – Planned & Present.