How A Supportive Monthly or Weekly Calendar Is Key To Happy Kids
Imagine for a moment that you wake up one morning. You get out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and remember that you have a full schedule of activities, appointments and to-dos but you have no idea what those activities are, who your appointments are with or when any of it will happen.
Would that level of the unknown stress you out?
Imagine how it would feel to kids - especially those who struggle with transitions, executive functioning and anxiety. It could add so much extra stress!
Creating a weekly or monthly family schedule provides an opportunity for kids to feel secure, in control and safe. With a schedule in place, they are better able to prepare for their days!
Why Should Kids Have A Predictable Schedule?
We all know the mental security (and sanity!) of knowing what's coming up in your week and month - and our kids feel that too!
According to the U.S Department Health & Human Services, having a schedule in place can help kids:
Our kids are used to being in school with a clearly defined schedule so having one at home will feel familiar. If you're looking for a place to start, take a cue from what they do at school and build on that at home.
- Feel in control of their environment
- Feel safe, secure, and comfortable
- Know what is happening now and what comes next
- Know how to do an activity or task
- Engage better in learning
What Should A Schedule Look Like?
When it comes to creating your family schedule there are many options!
For families with younger kids, a visually based system - with images easily understood by everyone - is a great way to go. There are tons of great templates and products available to help you create an awesome visual schedule!
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schKidules Visual Calendar Kit[/caption]
Older kids may benefit from some ownership of the family schedule by being able to write in their own activities and special dates. Something as simple as a big dry erase calendar can be perfect for older kids.
It is also up to you to decide if your family schedule should be weekly or monthly. For some kids, a weekly breakdown of activities may be the most beneficial. For others, a full monthly overview works well.
What Should Go On The Schedule?
When deciding what to include on your family schedule, think about the activities, appointments and special events that most impact your kids.
Do they have recurring activities that are important to remember? Are there any appointments coming up that they should know about? Is there a date night for mom and dad on the calendar and they will have a babysitter?
Put it on the calendar!
Also, allow kids to put what THEY feel is important to them on the schedule as well! Share that ownership of the schedule and help foster a sense of independence.
Maybe a new episode of their favorite show is coming up or they want to plan a playdate with a friend. Something as simple as "Watch my favorite movie" on a specific night can provide real confidence in their ability to organize and manage their own time.
Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com
When putting together a schedule for kids, think of it as you would your own schedule - what would you include so that you remember it's happening, can prepare for it ahead of time and have a good sense of what your time looks like.
For kids, knowing what is coming up in their week, or month, can mean the difference between easy days or not-so-easy days.
In today's crazy world, it's so important for our kids to feel safe, secure and taken care of. Creating an easy to understand, kid focused schedule for the week or month will help to support those good-for-us feelings!
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