Supernanny’s chapter on the importance of establishing a good routine made a lot of sense but to be honest, it didn’t actually tell me much that I don’t already do.
I agree with her that:
Kids function best when things are predictable. A good schedule will help meet your child’s physical needs at the right time.
On her suggestion I sat down with the boys the other afternoon to draw up a timetable, which Harry helpfully decorated-
He’s scribbled all over it, I’m going to scribble on him -shouted Ben.
When they’d finished squabbling (perhaps I should schedule some time for that) we agreed to try and stick to it.
Three days on, we manage to eat, bath and go to bed at the designated times but the rest has pretty much gone out of the window- homework takes longer than expected, playtime descends into fighting and calm down time etc.
Having said that, it is helpful for us all to know what to expect at different times and on Supernanny’s suggestion I have become a Speaking Clock, counting down to when the next activity will start-
Bathtime in 3 minutes boys.
2 minutes left till your bath.
1 minute to bathtime…
This has worked well, it gives the kids notice of what’s coming next and for the first time yesterday I didn’t tear my hair out trying to get them to go upstairs and get undressed.