Create a Family Routine for a Positive Start to 2016
As 2016 fast approaches there is one family action we should get in place – a solid routine!
Routines can help family life run more smoothly. They can also be a way to help your children, particularly those with a disability develop skills. The best routines are the ones that suit you, your child and your situation.
Routines are how families organize themselves to get things done, spend time together and have fun. Every family has its own unique routines. Routines help family members know who should do what, when, in what order and how often.
Some routines might be for things you do every day – for example, getting ready for bed (Sleep chart) These routines might involve following steps, such as having a bath, putting on pyjamas, brushing teeth, going to the toilet, reading a story and going to sleep. You do these in the same order each night.
Other routines can be weekly or occasional ones. Examples might be going to the park a few times a week, going to playgroup on Tuesdays or doing the grocery shopping on Wednesdays.
There’s no rule about how many or what kind of routines you should have. What works well for one family might be too strict and structured for another.
Why Routines are Good for Children, Particularly those with a Disability
An organized and predictable home environment helps all children feel safe and secure, especially when things are stressful or when kids are going through difficult stages or experiences.
If your child needs to take medicine or do other medical procedures regularly, a routine for this will make it easier for both of you to remember.
Family routines can also be a way for your child with disability to develop new skills. For example, if your child has a goal to work on communication skills and taking turns, you could remind him a few times during dinner that it’s his turn to talk about what happened at kindergarten.
If your child has complex needs, you might need to carry out most of her routine care. But your child will still enjoy and benefit from being part of your daily routines.
Routines can be good for you too. They can free up time for you to think about other things and help you feel more organised. You can also use them to introduce fun family activities such as games nights or reading books together. Activities like these are good for relaxed family bonding and togetherness.
To see a selection of sticker charts that could help your family, click here.
Wishing you a positive start to 2016!
Thank you to the Raising Children Network for this useful article, further details can be found on their website.