I met Jeanie about a year ago, about a month after her move from North Carolina, with her now husband and their 6 month old. She was searching for full-time employment while simultaneously juggling full-time care for her daughter, unpacking and safe-proofing a home, navigating a new city, planning a wedding, and trying to design a Montessori home. She told me of days when she was in a daze between 2 hour feedings, changes, naps, and constant vigilance during playtime. "I feel like I can't get anything done! It's a challenge to even get a shower. How do people do this?"
We've been talking about parent self-care this month because taking care of yourself is the best way to become a better parent and get off that hamster wheel of diaper changes, feedings, and 30 minute naps.
Today, I'm offering you an easy shortcut to create more calm, order, and cooperation in your life as a parent : a daily routine.
As a special bonus, I've put together a workbook to walk you through exactly how to design your daily routine, your morning and evenings, and transition times. You can complete the plans in 90 minutes or less.
Here's the deal. We all need routine, we crave it. Routines help us feel like we are control, help with decision fatigue, and create a sense of comfort and ritual.
But routines for young children are essential. Without a logical thinking mind to analyze, predict, process, or explain, young children rely on the patterns and routines in their environment to make sense of events and new information. In fact, your child constructs the neural pathways of logical thought directly from her daily experiences under the age of 6.
Routines take effort and intention to create, but once established they can work like magic to enforce limits, keep rooms organized, and children happily engaged with interesting activities. The key to creating a successful routine is (of course) good design. Follow the steps on this infographic below, and in 10 minutes you'll have a balanced daily routine that works for your family!
Would you be interested in attending a live workshop to build your daily routines?
Leanne Gray, M.Ed is the owner of The Prepared Environment, which supports families in creating an ideal environment for their children at home. She has over fifteen years experience working with children in both public, private, and Montessori schools, and is AMI primary trained. She particularly loves to hear from you! You can always contact her for personalized support and answers to your questions.