Are you wondering how to get your kids to follow a routine chart? Following a chart can help make your days go more smoothly. And it helps your kids be more independent.
Importance of Routines
Maybe you’re wondering why you should have a routine for your child. Having a routine helps your kids balance tasks they enjoy with tasks that are required, such as brushing their teeth.
There are many benefits to routines:
- Having a routine helps kids build confidence and independence. Routines help them feel empowered to do things themselves. They’ll be more likely to take charge of their own responsibilities.
- Routines reduce stress and create a calmer household. Have you ever noticed how getting kids ready for the day can be stressful? Having them do things on their own means that you’re no longer having to tell them every step that needs to get done. Fewer frustrations for everyone!
- Kids know what to expect. Kids thrive on routine and consistency. If they know that the first thing they do when they wake up is to eat breakfast, then get dressed, they can get up and start this process on their own. They won’t feel like they are forced to do something because that’s just a natural thing they do every day.
- Eliminates power struggles. Instead of you telling them what to do and what not to do, you hand that responsibility to them. Thus eliminating the power struggle. It becomes “their” responsibility.
- Helps create healthy habits. In order for things to become habits (like brushing your teeth), they need to be done repetitively. Routines help establish these habits.
- Following routines will help create healthy habits and help your kids better manage their time.
- Creates stability and offers normalcy. No matter what is going on in their life, routines can help provide a sense of safety that help them master new skills.
How To Create A Daily Routine For Your Child
So now that you know WHY you should create a daily routine, here is HOW you should do it.
Figure Out What Needs To Be Included In The Routine
When creating a daily routine chart you first need to think about what you want to include in the chart. This means making a list of things that must get done every day (like brushing your teeth, getting dressed, etc)
Think about what you do every day and what routines you already have in place. Also, think about what you’d like to add to the routine.
After you’ve decided what you’d like to add to your child’s routine, consider “stacking” habits.
Stacking habits are when you add a new habit to your routine by attaching it to an already established habit.
It’s best to just add ONE additional thing to their routine at a time as to not overwhelm them.
For example, lets say your kids typical morning routine is to:
- Wake up
- Get Dressed
- Eat Breakfast
- Go Potty
- Brush Teeth
But let’s say they’ve been having a hard time remembering to turn the lights off after they brush their teeth. You decide to add “turn off lights” after they brush their teeth to their morning routine.
You’d add (“stack”) this one thing to something they already do. Eventually, it’ll become automatic for them to turn the lights out after they’ve brushed their teeth.
So their new morning routine would be:
- Wake up
- Get Dressed
- Eat Breakfast
- Go potty
- Brush Teeth
- Turn Off Lights
List Them In Order That You Want Them Done
I like to list tasks in the order that they need to be done. I’m of course flexible but having them in order helps my kids know what is next to do.
Post Routines Somewhere That They Can Be Easily Seen
Make sure you put the routines where they can be seen every day. We have a board in our hallway that we hang our routines on. We walk past this several times a day so there is no way we can miss it.
Making it visible, creates a visual cue that there are things that need to get done.
How To Get Your Kids To Actually Follow The Routine
Include Your Child
Including your child in the decision making helps them have ownership in the chart. Ask them for feedback. Allow them to help decide the order that things need to be done.
Make sure you set realistic expectations. Having them do 5 or 6 things in the morning is much more achievable than 10 things. It can overwhelm them if they have too much to do.
So think about their age, developmentally appropriate expectations, and time when creating a routine.
Make sure that you set clear expectations. Like the morning routine happens in the MORNING, not in the afternoon. If you’re clear with what you want them to do, they’ll know exactly what is expected of them.
Explain The Routine Well
Younger kids may need more explanation to get through their routines. Make sure that you walk them through their routines so they know what to do.
Start Small And “Stack” Things To Other Routines
We talked about stacking habits earlier but I wanted to mention it again. In order to get kids to do something new, you need to start small. Create small “wins” by mastering one new thing at a time. This will help them build confidence.
Re-Evaluate As Needed
You may need to adjust things from time to time. Maybe they have too much to do or maybe they’re ready to add more things to their routine. Evaluate and make changes as needed!
Free Routine Chart
I’ve created these FREE routine charts in two different colors. I hope they help your kids as much as they’ve helped my kids!
When we first started using this routine chart, I had my doubts. But they have actually worked out great! My kids know exactly what is expected of them and they enjoy checking off what they have done.
It has given them more independence and has helped me not be stressed about them getting their stuff done. I simply say “Is everything checked off” and they go look at it and finish what needs to be done.
No more fights about it. Power struggles are gone. And they have more independence.
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Have you ever tried a routine chart?