From the Counselling Corner
October Issue: Routines
We are just settling in to October. One month has passed since children began their first day of school---met their teacher, walked into their new classroom, and saw the children that would be learning with them this year.
For the month of September the teacher has been establishing routines, things that the children do on a daily basis. For example, deciding on how to use the agenda that passes back and forth between home and school most effectively. When to share important days of the child, like his or her birthday? When to teach the various subjects? There are many factors a teacher takes into consideration when coming up with a routine for school.
The routine then provides children with an understanding of what the day is going to look like. By knowing this, children can then self-regulate, knowing that recess is at a certain time the child can make sure he or she has a snack and gets outside to actively participate with his or her friends. He or she can also have an idea about time-how much time does it take him or her to complete a task? Students will then become more confident in themselves knowing that they are able to achieve a certain task in the time given.
Routines can also be very beneficial at home. Of course, flexibility within the routine is also helpful as it helps the child know that sometimes things can change, like staying up later on a Friday night to watch a movie with mom and dad.
Dr. Laura Markham (www.ahaparenting.com) notes that routines at home do six key things:
1) Eliminate power struggles—children learn what a typical day looks like and know that during that day there will be opportunity for things like play
2) Help children cooperate
3) Take charge—children who have an understanding of routine may actually take a leadership role like helping with the dishes after supper because the routine is familiar to them and they have seen mom and dad model the action of washing dishes.
4) Looking forward: Within the routine, a family may talk about what is coming up, like visiting grandma and grandpa and children learn to look forward to the experience
5) Scheduling---routines provide for an opportunity for family’s to schedule activities
6) Build in family time: Family time is important, and by having a routine, one can create opportunity to have special moments throughout the day.
M. Jeanne Wilcox and Juliane Woods (2012) have also identified that routines establish a way for very young children to understand language and how to communicate. It provides them with a context and a way to explore in a safe way.
This month is safety month. As a part of your family routine, you may wish to review your family’s safety plan for computer use, potential fire and emergencies. Talk with your child about what ifs—What if I am not able to get home when I said I would get home? What if you are locked out of the house? What is safe computer use for our family?
By providing structure, children can become confident in their surroundings, whether at school or at home.
last updated; September 29th, 2014