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Routines, Schedules and Sleep, Oh My!

When my son was first born, I was a probably a little crazy with his schedule. It may or may not have been necessary then, but when he became a toddler I could see how having a routine for his day became more important - being that he has autism, I believe it really helped him, and it seemed to help put me more at ease, too!

With my daughter, I was a lot more relaxed. Still did scheduling with her naps and such,  but she was a much more easy-going toddler and jumped into a routine quickly.

Scheduling is an important part of our days - even now that the kids are bigger. I don't ever want to be so fixed on our schedule, though, that we lose sight of our day. Finding a good balance of having a schedule and submitting to the Lord's will is what we strive for in our household. And, there isn't anything wrong with being spontaneous, but that's what makes it more fun - surprising them with something different when they don't expect it!


With that being said, putting your kids {and even yourself} on a schedule that's flexible can really help keep your day running smoothly and more predictable. Even as babies, I set up a schedule for my little ones so that it would help keep our day moving. Some years, I made each day of the week a certain "theme" - park day, errands day, Mommy group at church day, etc. I also made each one a fun schedule and put it up in their rooms and in the kitchen. I could refer to it with them once they were bigger, but as babies, it just kept me motivated. I also kept myself on a cleaning schedule to keep my whole house looking good by only cleaning 15 minutes a day.



Now, my kids have to be at school by 8 and 8:30, so over the years I've developed a way to keep them moving. One of my kids can be pretty slow in the morning {easily distracted} and I have to set a timer and have consequences when that time is up and the expectations aren't met. I give plenty of time for each task - so as not to exasperate them, but also expect them not to dawdle. In the summer, I put them on an easy-going schedule so we just don't get stuck doing nothing all day.



We've made it a point to let the kids know that schedules can change - and will. The ultimate One who controls our schedule is God. And so, when it unexpectedly changes, we learn to submit to that change {Acts 18:21}. He is in control - boy has THAT greatly eased anxiety in myself and my children knowing that. Be sure that when you set up a schedule for your kids that you are flexible and willing to change it if it doesn't work. I usually re-do my kids' schedules every year or so. I find that as they grow, so must their schedule!

Have you set up any kind of schedule for your kids or yourself? If so, is it working?

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