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The How-to in Planning Your Little Ones’ Days

For a while now I have been inspired by women who are masters at managing their family life, who succeed with creating system that work, and whose family are thriving in all aspects of life.

When we talk about system, I realise we need system for (almost) everything! I need a good system for organising my spiritual life, character training, academic teaching, self control training, loving each other intentionally, finance and travel organisation, ministry, fellowship, exercise, cooking, cleaning and so much more.

Through an effective structure of your family day, you will benefit from:

– having a house that is orderly, clean, functional and peaceful

– accomplish your chores everyday

– allow yourself the luxury of time for rest, exercise, friendship

– work on academic learning

– have the time, energy and resource to train your child’s character

– have family devotions

– improve sibling unity

– practice self control

– meet each child’s touch point of love

Structuring your day is so much more than just doing a timetable. You want to create a rhythm that brings harmony and balance to the whole family. According to Moms Notes, your routine will look different from family to family and they are all influenced by:

a)     whether you work outside the home and what the nature of your work is

b)     the number of children you have and the age gaps and gender between them

c)     whether you have any available family support

d)     whether you are doing home schooling or public/private schooling

e)     your commitments and voluntary involvements outside the home

f)      whether you are doing a major renovation, a job change, a pregnancy

g)     whether you are involved in other extra curricular activities

But what you have to remember is to actually plan the kids’ activities around your priorities rather than around their play. Consider these various goals that you may want to achieve during the day:

•what you need to do to replenish your energy

•what you need to do to keep family life going

•training goals for children

•Childrens timetable (especially when you have babies in the house)

•husband’s needs

•each kid’s specific needs and love language

•family blueprint and goals

•special season with overseas visits, festive seasons etc

•the flow and rhythm of your day, week, month and year

•school life and activities

*after school sports and music activities

•time for fellowship and hospitality

*time for exercise and recreation

*time needed to get laundry and cooking done

•time to develop your prayer and Word life

When it comes to structuring your life with a baby and toddler, the key is to simplify your day. The use of playpen time, room time, table time, sit time, nap time are all success blocks to dividing your day and achieving your teaching goal.

Mel Haydes, author of Terrific Toddler describe these activities as follows :

ROOM TIME:

The purpose is to teach your child how to play contently by himself for a period of some time without having someone there to entertain him. It is good for developing sitting, focusing and concentration skills.

You may start with a blanket that serves as a visible boundary, Place a few new or attractive toys for your child to play. Sit away from him and time him in 5 minute increments. Build it up to 30-40 minutes. Remove the blanket once you are confident that he is feeling safe in a protected boundary. To encourage longer attention span, periodically rotate his toys and keep them interesting and challenging.

STRUCTURED PLAYTIME

This is where Mum chooses the activity. This is important in preparing for school when he will not have the freedom to choose and pick his activities and it is learning to be content with mum’s authority. We want our children to be able to play upon our direction and instruction.

Mom’s Notes warns that your child may not always appreciate what you are planning for him, but stay consistent and resist his plea. Tell him he can either do this or sit and do nothing until the timer goes off – soon he will realize that doing this is better than doing nothing, keep your long term goals in mind

FOCUS PLAY

This is when you spend one on one time with each child, even if it is a mere 15 minutes per child. Our focus is to solely be with our child and we can read, play trucks, play dolls, bakes, learns academics, do crafts, colouring, cutting cuddles, kisses, and give positive words. This is a way to fill up their love tank and to work on a behaviour or attitude problems that your child is struggling with – listening, sitting quietly, sharing or being gentle.

FREE UNSTRUCTURED PLAY TIME

This is where your child selects what he would like to do or play with but you select where he will play. My children really look forward to spending time together with each other and are always asking for “shared room time please, Mummy!”

4 thoughts on “The How-to in Planning Your Little Ones’ Days

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