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Get your kids loving daily routines

Having a predictable routine can help both younger and older children feel secure and happy – and routine charts are a great way to support our kids to take responsibility for parts of their day. Win, win!
Kids Routine Chart

Or download our
Weekly chart for ages 8+

Teen Routine Chart

Supporting younger kids with routines

If your mornings or evenings are a bit topsy-turvy, we'd suggest using a routine chart. Weekends or the holidays are a great time to discuss these with your child and get them in place.

To get the ball rolling:

  • Start with a kōrero, like this: “I really love the way you get dressed in the morning without me telling you (or something equally cool), but sometimes our mornings can be a little tricky, eh?” Feel free to acknowledge if you’ve been grumpy or any other stuff your child might like changed. It all helps with buy-in!
  • Next introduce the routine chart. “So, I’ve been thinking about putting a daily chart in place and found this really cool one… “
  • Take them through it briefly and emphasise ‘ticking off’ activities as they complete them – perhaps with a special pen or stickers.
  • When using the chart, notch up the praise! High five them on their way to brush their teeth, thank them for making their bed, tell them you really appreciate their efforts to help out, and give them a hug and sticker when they have a run of ticks.
  • Keep it positive and fun! Everyone wants to be where the fun is at. And keep it consistent. If you lose interest, they will too.

An important note: Before you begin – check-in on your expectations, and make sure they’re set at the right level. Four year olds won’t be able to do up their shoelaces. Buttons could still be quite tricky. And beds will NEVER be as neat as you do them! Whether they’re learning something new, having a go, trying to help or doing something well, it all counts.

Does your child need an extra incentive?

If the old ‘praise and stickers’ approach just isn’t cutting the mustard, you may like to introduce a rewards system to boost engagement.

Rewards could be gained after a week of consistent effort or a certain number of ticks or stickers.

Let them choose from a range of low cost rewards, such as:

  • A favourite activity with you
  • A visit to the museum, park, beach or art gallery
  • A friend over for a sleepover
  • Sleeping in a hut you've built in the lounge
  • An ‘at home’ movie with popcorn
  • Keep this reward in place long term, or until the routine becomes ‘normalised’.

Need to change it up?

Eventually, you may find you don’t need your daily chart. Hurrah!!

Or, more likely, you’ll find you don’t need it for a while, then suddenly… you do again! Don’t panic. This is very normal. Even as adults we sometimes get busy, forget to do stuff, and need revert to those good ol’ to-do lists.

After extra tips and tricks?

Check out the free parenting courses available in your local area. You could start by seeing what Incredible Years has on offer. Their courses are run by the Ministry of Education and are free throughout New Zealand. For those living in Canterbury, we have an online course guide – and there are many courses available.

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