Your Mommy Will See You Now (Schedule Your Kids)
I didn’t say it was a simple tip, and it falls under the category of “easier said than done.” However, it is advice that is easy to forget with younger children that seem to be more into chaos than they are into order. This may be the case with what they do with all their little toys, but kids actually are quite into schedules. You just forgot.
Imagine two simple scenarios, both involving taking your kids to the park. In the first, you go with no time limit or plans on when to leave. In the second case, you tell them how long you plan on staying as well as what you plan on doing after you leave the park.
The outcomes of the two situations should surprise no seasoned parent. When you just head to the playground with your kid and randomly tell him it’s time to go, he’ll try his hardest to buy more time. That or he’ll just run away and ignore you. Then there is the worst case scenario: the meltdown.
In the other situation, you already have alerted the child that the time limit is up. That’s it, and it is time to go. He also knows exactly where he is going next because you already told him, whether it’s somewhere exciting like Grandma’s house, or somewhere “boring” like the store. Of course there are still plenty of kids who will try to buy more time, but leaving the park in this case tends to be a smoother process.
Why? Because you communicated with your kid and he is more involved with his family than a kid who is “herded” around by his parents. We at Dad Vs. Spawn suggest taking the process a step further still, and planning tomorrow out the night before. Involve your children in the scheduling of their own lives and they will adapt, as children do, by learning (eventually*) to schedule their own.
When our children were babies, we were told that they loved having schedules. If you’ve lost sight of that, then now is the best of all times to get back to making schedules. With your kids… and sticking to them!
* Long eventually, as opposed to short eventually. These things take time**
** But they’re worth it!