How do you set an effective daily routine for kids?


Quick Answer

Create an effective daily routine by starting with the most essential, unchanging parts of the days, such as bedtime and school, and building the rest of the schedule out from there. Make a visual representation of the schedule so the child knows what to expect. Allow for some flexibility wherever possible.

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Full Answer

Divide a large sheet of paper into 24 one-hour blocks, or use computer scheduling software. Fill in the child's sleeping hours, school hours, meal times and other regular activities. Now fill in the empty spaces with all the other tasks that must be completed throughout the day, thinking about the child's preferences and moods throughout the day. For instance, if she struggles to get ready on time in the morning, schedule her bath and other school prep tasks, such as choosing an outfit, in the evening.

When possible, allow extra time for difficult or time-consuming tasks like homework. To prevent the child from feeling overwhelmed, include at least a few free blocks in each day that she can use to play or relax.

For a school-age child, post a written copy of her schedule in her room and on the refrigerator. For a younger child, make an illustrated schedule that includes photos or drawings of each task.

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