Get with the Routine
Children find safety in structure. Teachers work very hard to establish routines in their classrooms with the goal of fostering independence, developing efficiency, and minimizing confusion. Liz Lisciandra, a third grade teacher at the John Elliot School in Needham, Massachusetts, believes strongly in establishing routines. "In order for children to feel comfortable in their environment, they need the predictability and structure that routines offer them," she says. "Knowing what to expect makes students feel more comfortable, less anxious, and able to focus on the task at hand."
Teachers know that when children can be independent and know what is expected of them, they feel pride and valued as a member of the classroom community. Establishing predictable routines at home can accomplish the same goal by allowing you to give your child more responsibility, which in turn will build self-confidence and independence. Not to mention, it will make your life easier!
Consider setting up structured routines for when your child gets ready for school, comes home from school, or gets ready for bed. Routines should be simple with only a few steps to follow. Make it official! Buy some dry-erase boards to post in your home. Together with your child, write out the steps for the routine you wish to establish. Go through the routine with your child several times. This will allow you the opportunity to see the pitfalls in your routine plan that may need to be changed. In time, your child will be able to go through the routine on her own, feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment.