STRUCTURE AND ROUTINE SETTING FOR CHILDREN DURING THE PANDEMIC
Routines are the basic building block of our nature as human beings in this ecosystem.
For children, routines can provide a sense of predictability and comfort.
They can help them navigate through their days better.
In times of uncertainties and changes, having a routine can be helpful
Ground rules to set routines:
1. Discuss the ‘Why’?
Teaching children about the importance of a routine can improve their cooperation. Asking them to imagine how it will be if they go to school and find that there are no time-tables, no classrooms assigned, no subjects taught – how will it be? Ask them to answer if it will be easy to adapt or tough. There is a high chance they will choose the latter. At this stage, if we help them reflect on the importance of routines, it will make them more interested and engaged in the process.
2. Make it child-centric
The routine should reflect what the child wants to do throughout the day. Both parents and children should be mutual participants in the process. Parents can sit together with their children and discuss if they like to paint, play games, or do something else. It will make children feel responsible, improve their decision-making abilities and increase their chances of following through. Promote them to be their own, unique self through the choice of activities.
3. Keep it flexible
Keeping a rough, flexible routine can provide scope for consideration of changes. Introduce a new activity every day to keep it engaging. Therefore, making day-wise flexible routines will help in keeping them going
Providing reinforcements such as high fives, praises, claps, or stickers can help motivate the child to keep going. When they associate a positive outcome with the process of engagement as a routine, they will be more excited about it all
5. Enjoy the process
Making and following routines should be a fun activity. The process is more important than the outcome. It is an opportunity to have fun and bond with your child