In middle school, the bells would ring at oddly specific times for us to switch classes with just enough time to get to our lockers and back. Every nuance of my day was scheduled for me so they could get the absolute exact number of “instructional minutes” in each day. (Yet the teachers could choose not to instruct us and put on a movie instead…)
As a nanny, I quickly found that children thrive on a predictable routine. Times don’t have to be set into stone, it’s impossible to get anything done at an exact time with kids anyway, but knowing what comes next helps them learn what is expected of them. As a parent, I had to figure out that routine for ourselves, on my own with a high needs baby. As soon as I heard about it, I tried him on the 2-3-4 routine and it helped to get his naps arranged in the day.
Now that he has one nap a day and is an opinionated toddler, I have set alarms on my phone for nap and bed times. At 12:30 and 8, the alarm goes off and we clean up, go potty, and get ready for sleep. It is a miracle that he (mostly) complies and knows the routine. It helps me keep him to his regular times and not push it back in the name of fun or lunch, creating an overtired monster in the process.
How do you keep your daily routines going? Does life necessitate a strict schedule?