STRUCTURE AND ROUTINE SETTING FOR CHILDREN DURING THE PANDEMIC

Nature has a routine and rhythm to it. Things happen at a particular time, in a certain way. Routines are a very basic building block to our nature as human beings in this ecosystem…

For children too, 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 certain 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 being taught – how will it be? Asking them to answer whether 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 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 through the day. Both parents and child should be mutual participants in the process of making the routine. They can sit together and have a discussion, whether he wants to paint, play games, or do something else. This will make children feel heard, feel responsible, improve their decision making abilities and increase 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. With a new day, the child’s mood may change and they may want to do something different from the last day. Therefore, making day-wise flexible routines will help in keeping them going

4.   Praise

Providing reinforcements like high fives, praises, claps, or stickers can help motivate the child to keep going. When they associate a positive outcome with the process of engaging in a routine, they will be more excited about it all

5.   Enjoy the process

Making and following routines should not just be about ticking away boxes, it is important to have fun in the process. The process is more important than the outcome. Take it as an opportunity to have fun and bond with your child