Building Resilience in Children; Day 1: Routine
Day 1: Making a schedule Whether times are uncertain or not, all children benefit from having a routine in place. Following a schedule provides consistency, structure and predictability. When we don’t know what the world is going to throw at us next, building in some routine and predictability serves as a buffer from the outside chaos. Collaborating with your child to create a weekly family schedule could give them an appropriate level of control and influence in their world. Below are some things to consider when you sit down with your kids to create this schedule:
Schedule wake up times, meals as well as snack time.
If homeschooling; set times for learning with built in breaks.
Have each member of your family choose an activity of the day they enjoy and add them to the schedule for the week. For example, doing a puzzle, reading a book, painting, walking, fishing, planting flowers, writing in your journal, etc.
Set limits on tv, phones, laptops, etc.
Establish bedtimes to ensure that the necessary amount of sleep that a child needs is provided even if they don’t have school the next day. This routine will also ease the transition when schools do reopen.
Carve out family time. That will look different for everyone but it's vital to set aside sometime everyday to be with each other.
One of the most important things that you can do to make your child feel safe is to establish as much routine in his life as possible. I will be the first to admit, this was something I personally struggled with but will honestly say, I see the difference it makes. Children (and adults) feel the most secure when their lives are predictable. When adults provide environments that feel safe, children learn that they can trust others to take care of them and meet their needs, so they become free to relax and explore their world...which leads to increased self confidence...leading to gaining resilience.