- Tie up the old and ring in the new.
- Celebrate major holidays
- Make parties and entertain
- Buy extra things
- Spend extra money
- Have high hopes
- Experience disappointments
And much, much more. Amid all the chaos, here is a great piece of advice. Make a schedule and do what you can to keep to it as much as possible.
A schedule provides structure. “When structure speaks, children listen.” By providing a simple daily routine, you help your child to feel secure. It provides consistency. It is the beginning of the discipline process. Above all, amid all the confusion and pressure of today’s times, this is one handy tool to have to help you accomplish as much as possible. Here are some basic guidelines.
Schedule play time for you and your child. When you set aside time each day to play together, you show that you value sharing time.
Food should be a part of a daily meal and snack plan. It is for eating at specified intervals at a table and preferably with others. Try to keep to those intervals and avoid whenever possible offering food in the car, in a stroller, or while your child is playing, walking, or even standing. A regular eating time fosters positive nutrition and family bonding. In addition, it decreases overeating because the next meal or snack is soon to come. Remember that food is not a toy or a reward. It is part of dining and sharing time with others.
Set up a sleep schedule for your child that includes a regular bedtime and, if possible, having your child wake up naturally in the morning. For young children, set up a regular nap time, and try to have it at home as much as possible. If your child dozes off in the car or stroller from time to time, that is okay; but it is best not to have it happen on a regular basis.
As you can see, the schedule is powerful. While you may not be able to follow it strictly, you can have it as a guide, a way to help you keep up with all that needs to be done. “Going with the flow” and following natural flexibility are enhancements but should not replace the practicality and effectiveness of sound advanced planning.
Create a schedule. Use it, enjoy it, and… “Don’t leave home without it!”