How to Keep your Preschooler going to Kindergarten School on a Schedule

Parenting Tips

Routines are reassuring because they tell children what to do and when they need to do it. However, it can be frustrating when your little ones don’t accept any of the changes you try to set. If you need them to accept a new routine or schedule, and they resist, there are plenty of ways for you to get over that hurdle.

If you’re sending your kids to the best kindergarten school in Kuala Lumpur and it’s the first time they’re going to school or being in a class, then here are five tips you’ll want to try.

1. Make them a part of it

Your child should be a part of the decision-making process. Giving them a choice in the matter and letting them have their say helps build their confidence. That also dissolves some—if not all—of their resistance. Having them to commit to the new schedule is easier when they’re a part of the decision.

2. Be realistic about the time

One reason your child might not be following the routine you set is because it’s unrealistic. Do a run-through to check how long the routine takes, from dressing up your child to feeding them, cleaning up, and getting them ready for their classes. If it takes ten or even twenty minutes longer, you’ll need to adjust your schedule. Also, don’t time it right down to the minute. Sometimes, children need cajoling. They need more time to hunt down a pair of missing socks or their favorite blankie. Make sure there’s a little bit of leeway in your schedule. That way, if your child needs more time, you can afford to be a bit lenient with them. You’d be surprised at how much more harmonious your household will be if you let go of your tight schedule.

3. Identify your priorities

Know what’s important. You need to identify your priorities. If you and your child always get into a fight when it’s time to do the dishes or whenever you try to get them to put away their toys, pick your battles. Those things can wait until the next day or an hour or two. Postponing these things does a lot to cut back on the stress and bad feelings that those encounters lead to. If you want to improve your relationship with your child, then know when to let some things slide.

4. Explain the routine

Don’t automatically assume that your child will know what the routine is. You should explain every item on the list so that you and your child will be on the same page. That way, you’ll know if your child understands the routines set out for them or not. Explaining these to them won’t leave any room for confusion and doubt. Assuming that they know the routine and then getting angry or upset when they don’t follow isn’t productive, especially if it turns out that they aren’t exactly sure what to do. Please provide them with guidance instead. Lead with that and not with anger or upset feelings. Kids take their cue from you. If you get angry at them, and they don’t understand why that will impact their long-term growth and might even leave behavioral problems that they could carry into adulthood.

5. Be Specific

Instead of saying, “You need to vacuum today,” give your child more details. Where will they need to vacuum? In their rooms? What about the hallway? Are there any other chores you want them to do? What do you expect after it’s done? That there shouldn’t be any mess in the hallway and their rooms? Do you want them to clean up the clutter in their rooms too? Providing these details will help your children know what you expect from them, which allows them to get things done with greater efficiency.

6. Talk to the teacher

Find out what your child is like in class from their teachers. Yes, with online school classes these days, it’s much easier to watch over them. But you won’t be able to do that every day. Besides, that’s going to be awkward for your child. You’ll want to be nearby in case they need your help. But other than that, you should give them the space to learn. Let them tackle those lessons in class with their classmates and teachers. Talking to the instructors, though, will provide you with an idea of what your child’s behavior is like and how their schedule goes. Is PE in the afternoon? Then you might need to give them energy boosters on those days. When is the finals week coming up? You’ll want to get ready to help them review. By working together with the instructors, you can stay on top of your child’s school schedule.

7. Write it down

A to-do list helps you remember everything you need to get done. Writing down the routine or schedule and putting it where your child will see it easily enough is one way to remind them what they need to be doing at certain times of the day. Is it time for math or music practice? Make sure you keep the list to about three to five items. Break the list down and scatter them around the house if you need to. Put a different one in the bathroom, one on the door of the fridge, and another one at your child’s desk. Pairing those lists with pictures will help them remember even more.

8. Offer support

New routines take time. It’s not easy to learn them or get used to them. That said, don’t expect your child to take to the new schedule overnight. Give them time to navigate their way through the changes. That doesn’t mean you should leave them to it, though. Give them gentle reminders. Point out the changes you’ve made. Watch out for small improvements and make sure they know that you appreciate it every time they get it right. Praise their effort. They might not get it every single time, but if they show you that they’re trying hard to get it, then that deserves praise, too.

9. Find out why

Talk to your child if they still have trouble following the routine or schedule. What could be the problem? Are they having a hard time remembering? Is something stopping them from following through? Are they sad about the changes you’ve made? How do those changes impact them? Talk to their teachers, too, to find out if there’s anything that’s been bothering them in class. The teachers might have noticed something off about your child in several of the sessions. That could help pinpoint possible issues.

10. Explain the changes

It also helps if you tell your child the reason for those changes. If they understand why they are less likely to resist following them. That’s much better than just simply expecting them to follow blindly. If you’re sending your child to a school that uses Montessori-style teaching—which emphasizes the importance of developing critical thinking in children—then you know that expecting your child to follow the rules blindly runs counter to what they’re learning in school.

The above tips can help keep your preschooler on schedule and make it easier to adjust to their kindergarten school. Never be shy to ask their teacher for advice to make your life easier.

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