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16 Jun '17

Predictable routines, a key for a proper behaviour

Posted by Sandra Sosa
Your little kids are full of energy and wish to do everything, every time, all the time; it seems they never get tired, and there's a lot of excitement, enthusiasm and interest on many activities at the same time, and even when that's not something negative, it's mandatory to guide your little ones in order to achieve a balance between their enthusiasms and what's expected from them.

It's not unusual to find moms fighting with their kids because they wish to see TV when it's time to sleep; on the other hand it's also a frequent scene parents arguing with their kids because they only wish to eat candies and fast food instead of their veggies.

This kind of problems arise from the fact that the young brains respond to impulses instead of rational ideas; thus if you like to play video games, there's nothing more
Setting healthy routines since the very beginning
important than that and you will wish to keep on it as long as you can. Same thing occurs with feeding patterns and every behaviour, especially during the firsts years of live.

The challenge is to find a balance between our kids natural impulse towards different activities and rules following but still within a proper behaviour background, because even when watching TV is not a negative behaviour, doing it all day long is; then it's necessary to clearly set limits and state what's acceptable and what's not in order to "model" our kids behaviour with healthy and positive habits.

To achieve such tasks there's as many ways as parents in the world, however the most successful strategies share a common feature: predictable routines.

It's a sort of malabarism where your kids have free time to do what they love and time to follow rules, and predictable routines are the bridges to bind one part of the day with the other.

Which routine is best for your children will depend of many variables, however, regardless the one you choose, it's mandatory to follow it strictly. For example, you could state one hour of video games a day, afterwards it's "dancing time", thus when your kids listen the music, they will know video games are about to end.

At the beginning it will be hard, but once the routine is set, it will be assumed naturally. Another good strategy is to set "slowing down routines" prior to sleep.

It would be a very difficult task to get asleep if you were jumping and playing few minutes ago; but if you take a bath, drink a glass of hot cocoa and read a story, it will be easier to sleep. Repeat this routine day after day and you will realize how easy your kids will get asleep, sometimes even before the end of the storytelling!

Remember that your little ones' brains are maturing everyday and are constantly processing tons of information requiring to be classified, processed and stored, thus if you provide a solid background and a robust behavioural patterns frames, it will be easier for them to incorporate everything they learn, every new experience and each novel emotion on that frame; otherwise processing so much information and emotions will end in chaos, rendering almost impossible to set not only proper but also healthy behaviours.

Finally remember one hint: Teach with the example; your kids are more prone to do what they see you doing than what you say; so get them involved on your own healthy routines, makes of the experience something enjoyable and you will see positive results very fast.

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