It’s astonishing how quickly your kid will grasp independence by the horns. Remember how they used to love butternut squash? Then out of nowhere, butternut squash is akin to broccoli.
The flip flop of parenting is a wild, cantankerous ride!
Just because your kid decides they’re independent doesn’t mean your job is done. Even when your kid develops a one-of-a-kind personality, you’re still the master and commander of those billowing sails of independence.
So, how do you encourage independence without allowing the ship to run aground?
Create a daily routine!
A routine is fundamental in forming the building blocks of development. It establishes boundaries that inspire confidence, creates a safe space, and decreases anxieties, as well as encourages the development healthy habits.
Plus, a structured routine makes your life better! A routine teaches kids to perform tasks that were once initiated by the parent such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, and prepping their school backpack.
When can you establish a routine? Take into consideration development factors:
- By the age of five, 90% of your child’s brain has developed.
- By the age of seven, “the foundations for their adult brain function” are developed.
What does this mean? Start as early as you can!
Alright, alright … how do you start? With the fundamental building blocks of a healthy routine.
Yes, you want your kid to clean their room, clear the dinner table, do their homework, and feed the dog. Yet, a routine needs to incorporate space for creativity, physical activity, and down time.
This is that whole allowing the child to lead, while the parent steers the ship trick!
Want some hard and fast rules for creating a routine?
- Use the “When … Then” approach. Mornings can be routine chaos. Tackle this challenge by using the “When … Then” routine tool, which “structures your morning so that all the not-so-fun tasks are completed before the most desirable part of the morning.”
- Consider transition times. It’s time for dinner, yet your kiddo is fully immersed in their outdoor time. Part of routine is adhering to it, no matter what. Make transition times mandatory yet independent. Set a buzzer. Create a 5-minute rule. Allow for rewards.
- Make outdoor time essential. Getting outside not only encourages physical activity, but also imaginative creativity. Plus, it’ll help release some of that pent-up energy!
- Include free-choice time. Kids need opportunities to follow their interests. Make sure to set guidelines such as restricting television and video games. Free-choice time can be a creative way for kids to bolster creativity by dealing with boredom.
- Consider habit development. Want your kiddo to appreciate physical activity? Create time to go to the park. Looking to instill healthy eating habits? Make gardening a mandatory activity. Aiming to get your little one to get ready for bed on their own? Make it a ritual that you supervise, yet they lead.