Consistent schedules and routines are so important; they can make or break your day. When your kids know what is expected of them, there are fewer surprises. Whether it’s the morning routine, the after-school routine, or the bedtime routine, it is imperative to stay consistent. So, what’s the difference between a schedule and a routine? We’re glad you asked!
Schedule vs. Routine
A schedule is generally a timed plan, while a routine consists of regular and habitual actions. Have you tried to implement a morning schedule with your kids with minimal success? Try focusing on routines instead. Focus on what your child can do independently before coming to you. Whether it’s getting themselves dressed, brushing their hair, or packing their bag, get them in the habit of doing these tasks by themselves every morning before daycare.
While it may take some time at first, creating these habits allows your children to learn independence and lets you focus on other things with peace of mind. But, as we know, the morning is not everyone’s favorite part of the day. So how do you ensure it goes well? Let’s go over some of our greatest tips for success!
5 Ways to Rock the Morning Routine
- Visual Aids
Get Visual with It!
While not everyone needs a visual reminder to complete a task, your toddler may. So instead of repeatedly reminding them, creating frustration between you and your toddler, create a visual aid. The visual aid will be a game-changer for your child, whether it be a chart with pictures or a list with checkboxes. It will also allow your child to learn the tasks and remember them for the next time instead of asking every day what they should be doing.
Consistency is Key
I know the saying is common, but consistency can make or break your morning routine in seconds. If your toddler is aware of the routine and knows what is expected, they will have a much easier morning accomplishing those tasks independently.
In addition, a predictable routine helps engrain positive habits within your kids. This avoids nagging from you and meltdowns from your kiddo, ensuring everyone’s day starts off on the right foot! While it may take some assistance at first, the repeated tasks and consistency will pay off!
Start with Simple Reminders
The toddler routine isn’t always easy to create, especially if they are too young for visual aids. However, speaking with your toddler about the routine the night before and again when you first wake up can help your child begin to understand and participate in their morning routine. Try starting your routine simultaneously every day and making sure you factored in extra time for a slow-moving toddler! This will allow your toddler to still accomplish what’s needed while making sure you won’t end up running late!
Prepare Ahead of Time
While this one isn’t always possible, when it is, take advantage. If you are still picking out your child’s clothes, leave them out the night before. If your child dresses themselves, they won’t be going through every clothing item trying to convince you they should be wearing shorts on a cold winter day. Make lunches the night before and plan what breakfast will be. These little routine habits will continue to add up to your morning routine, making it something you enjoy instead of dread.
If your toddler’s routine has continued to improve and they have thrived with their new responsibility, you may be thinking of rewarding them. We recommend allowing your child to have some free time to play before leaving for school if they get everything accomplished in the necessary timeframe. This also incentives your toddler to complete their routine and avoid dilly-dallying while getting some playtime in!
Routines for the Win!
There you have it! Schedules are great, but for toddlers that need to be out the door with their parents by a certain time, it’s not always the easiest. If you know the schedule for the day, focus on it by using routines to build up actionable habits that your child can participate in.
This will teach your child valuable skills and give you peace of mind. Pick one thing and start today! As your child consistently completes the first task, add another one. Before you know it, the morning routine will be your favorite part of the day!