Saturday, September 10, 2011

Routine

I've read all about setting schedules for kids and the wonders it can do - from teaching kids to sleep at night, to creating trust between parent and child. My grandma gave me this book before Gavrel was born, and it talks a lot about scheduling for kids. As a teacher, I'm even a big fan of scheduling to keep discipline issues to a minimum.


In reality, though, we just don't live our lives by strict schedules. Especially now that Jon is self-employed, his schedule is different just about every day.

I know what some of you are thinking. "You had a baby. Your life has to change." You're right, and it has. I do think there's a balance, though, between giving your child everything they need and teaching them that they are the center of the universe. Don't get me wrong - I'm not the expert. I'll probably dance around that line for the rest of my stay-at-home career, sometimes on one side and then the other.

But here's my compromise: routine. I don't keep a regular schedule at home, nor do I try. The only thing that's at the same time every day is bedtime. We do, however, keep the same routine most days. We do the same things, in the same order, pretty much every day. I even try to work going out or running errands into the same couple places in the routine when I can. Luckily, my son is pretty laid back when we get a little off.

Keeping a routine allows Gavrel the benefits of scheduling, to know what's coming and what to expect, whether he wakes up at 8 AM or 11 AM (yes, it does happen - more often than you might think). It helps me know his habits (so when he's been awake for an hour and a half and he's really cranky, I know he's probably ready for a nap a little early today). But overall, I don't have to keep a rigid schedule. I think Gav and I both function better this way.

So here I'm kicking off a series of posts (not necessarily all together, but now and then) on our routines. I've never used any specific "method" or "theory," in case you're wondering. I also know that these may not work for your babies. But I know there are a lot of you out there expecting your firsts, so I hope you can glean something useful from us and have some tricks and tools up your sleeves when you get to that point.

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