November 16, 2023

How routines can help invite cooperation and reduce power struggles

Dancing Moose Montessori School
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Credit: Holly Weaber, Certified Positive Discipline Educator

Routines give children a sense of safety and control over their own lives. When routines are consistent, a child can learn what to do and how to do it all by themselves which builds a sense
of responsibility and independence.

Does your child refuse everyday to do’s?

Try a routine chart. You can create a chart for a daily routine or “mini routines” for specific times of the day such as; morning, after school, or bedtime. Sit down with your child and ask questions, “what do you do first?” and “what comes next?” Once you have established the routine you can take pictures of your child doing the things listed. You can use an instant camera or print pictures from your phone. Put the pictures in order on a poster board and have your child decorate it. Your child can write out what they are doing in the pictures on their own or with your help. The more they contribute to creating the chart the more interested they will be in using it. Post it at eye level somewhere your child will see it often.

Let the routine be the boss!

You can invite cooperation with your child by stepping back and letting the routine be the boss. When your child wants to skip the routine and go straight to doing what they want to do, instead of giving reminders you can say, “what is on your routine?” or “where are you at with your routine?” It reduces power struggles because you aren’t the one telling them what to do and it puts your child in the role of being responsible for themselves instead of you – and that’s what we want, right!

Practice, practice, practice.

Parenting can be so challenging and trying something new can seem to make a situation even more challenging. Remember to practice and remember that it takes time to learn new skills. But the time you take now will save you later and the effort you make will help your child to practice self-control and lead to resiliency. You can do it!

Holly can be contacted at [email protected] for any further questions.

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Dancing Moose Montessori School

November 16, 2023

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