Support your children with our Routine Planner

Support your children with our Routine Planner

When you have a family, days fly by rapidly, and it can be difficult to keep everything in mind. If it’s not difficult, it’s just exhausting to keep everything in mind. Guiding your child in the morning through a sequence of tasks, and doing it all over again in the evening, hoping that your partner has understood the same routine as yours.

Inspired by Montessori philosophy, the Routine Planner is more than just a time management tool: it's a catalyst for balance and mental clarity. For children, it forms the foundation of a sense of security, providing solid temporal landmarks. For adults, it acts as a guide to dispel the fog of uncertainty, allowing for serene anticipation and better presence in the moment for oneself and one's child.

Usage Guide for Children Using the Routine Planner with children is a breeze. Select together the activity cards that mark their day, from dressing to playing, including meals. These routines become rituals that help them internalize time organization and forge a sense of security, subtly teaching them to project and anticipate the events of their day.

When to Introduce the Weekly Planner to My Child?

You can introduce the Routine Planner at any age. However, depending on the age, you need to adopt an appropriate approach.

From birth, you can get into the habit of using it, showing it to your baby and discussing with him the steps of the day. By involving him, you allow him to be engaged. This will contribute to his awakening and autonomy. You'll see that he will quickly understand its utility and how to use it, and he will be able to take it over himself as soon as you feel he is capable.

If you start with older children, around 2 or 3 years old, we recommend following these steps as a base and adapting them. You will find it easier if you have set up your own Routine Planner, so that you can serve as inspiration for your child.

Selection and Placement of Cards

Before introducing the Routine Planner to your child:

STEP 1: Complete the setup of the routine poster by cutting out the round circle and the yellow arrow. Mount the yellow arrow in the middle at the indicated point with a brad.

STEP 2: Choose appropriate cards for young children, which include various activities such as eating breakfast, brushing teeth, dressing, and going to school.

Introducing the Routine Planner to your child:

STEP 3: Start by explaining the purpose of the activity. Keep your explanations brief and interact with them, preferably with questions.

Inspiration: “This is a Routine Planner that represents your day, from the moment you wake up in the morning until you go to sleep at night, and the night when you sleep.

STEP 4: The child starts to describe their own routines.

Inspiration: Can you show me the morning, where the sun rises? Can you show me the evening, where the sun sets and the moon rises? What do we do in the morning when you wake up? And after? And after returning from school? And after dinner? If your child wants to talk, let them talk, just listen and avoid interrupting them even if it’s a bit disorganized. Ask questions to continue the conversation. To move on to the next step, a “great, so now let’s look at the cards!” is enough.

STEP 5: Show them the cards you have preselected.

Inspiration: Ask them which ones they recognize and suggest they place it on the Routine Planner. If they make a mistake, don’t correct them directly, ask a question. Otherwise, continue placing the cards and let them realize their mistake themselves, even if it’s in 3 days or 3 months.

STEP 6: Finally, when you are finished, place the child’s Routine Planner on a wall space easily visible at the child’s eye level, which facilitates their interaction with the tool.

Inspiration: Choose a room and suggest they stick it themselves, and maybe they can choose where to display it.

You can also explain that it’s a nice tool that needs to be taken care of. So we handle it gently and manipulate the activity cards delicately.

Tips for Organizing and Personalizing the Routine Planner

We often tend to show children that we know and to give them the answer right away. In this case, what's interesting in the parent-child relationship is when the parent takes on a guiding role and leads their child through questioning. This way, you bring out your child’s natural personality and allow them to grow, question, explore, make mistakes, and find their way.

If your child makes a mistake, you can take different approaches. Correct them in a constructive way. For example, if they confuse breakfast with dinner, you can simply ask them, “Do you have your breakfast when you wake up in the morning or when you go to sleep at night?”. Indeed, if they don’t understand, let them correct themselves over time through experience. It will be much more meaningful for them to learn from their mistakes rather than you providing the right answer immediately. The same goes for your teenager asking for help with homework. In any case, you will regularly revisit the Routine Planner to remind them of the order of events. The error will become more apparent.

Regularly refer to the Routine Planner to help children understand what they need to do next, such as in the morning to get ready for school or in the evening to prepare for bed.

Allow your child to choose fun activities: the card itself matters less than the joy your child takes in organizing their time, talking about activities, and doing something; it's much more meaningful.

Avoid overload: we recommend being careful not to overload the Routine Planner so that the child does not feel overwhelmed and lose track, as they are capable of integrating a small amount of information. If the Routine Planner starts to become overloaded, we recommend, for example, placing the "Personal Hygiene" card in the morning and evening on the Routine Planner, and placing the corresponding activity cards, "Brushing Teeth", "Brushing Hair", "Taking a Shower", “Using the Toilet”, etc., directly on the wall of your bathroom at your child’s eye level.

Review and update the planner periodically as your child’s routine changes or as they progress in their development.

Once you have established your Routine Planner, we advise you to get into the habit of using it both in the morning and in the evening. It will help guide your child through steps that will become predictable and integrated for everyone. Children need to have solidly established routines, and often, if they are not, this can become a source of tension with children, as well as within the couple, due to a lack of consistency.

This won’t stop your child from resisting following routines from time to time. Often, we can manage this through cooperation, especially play, other times, a hug, listening to them, and you will have to let go. This is exactly why you need well-established routines. They allow you to know when you have deviated from your habits, from a certain normality. So, when you and your child step out of it, you both know where you need to return next time.

And you will be surprised when there is resistance, that in reality, your child has understood very well, and they are playing and indirectly asking you to enforce them to confirm if this whole thing is really serious. This is healthy and normal, and it builds their self-discipline and sense of responsibility.

What also makes the Routine Planner powerful is that by having a clear view of your routines, you can more easily identify where the problem lies. What's happening in the morning? "Why isn’t this working?! We're running late and you’re doing this instead of that!" Review the order of events: “Ah, actually, the kids are getting dressed before breakfast, so they don’t dawdle in getting dressed, and this prevents us from being late and me getting upset.” And your partner: “And so, I'm going to get up earlier to do my exercise, so I can tidy the kitchen earlier and not waste time, and therefore I need to go to bed earlier so I'm not too tired in the morning.”

Later on, once you have found your bearings, the Routine Planner is easily used in conjunction with the Habit Tracker.

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