Schedules and Stability

SCHEDULES AND STABILITY | Eleanor will turn 3 next month, and while I get sentimental about my baby growing up, I am also amazed at the little person she has become. Toddlerhood is so fun! At the
same time, it doesn’t come without challenges. Eleanor can have a difficult time
transitioning from one activity to the next throughout the day – especially when we have
to stop doing something she enjoys. Toddlers move throughout their day without much
idea of what’s coming next. This uncertainty and lack of control can create stress and
lead to meltdowns.

To help with this, we created a schedule chart. Eleanor loves it! Each morning, we share
the day’s schedule with her and talk about what we are going to do. We included photos
of her doing the respective activity so she can “read” it herself. If the day can be flexible,
we allow her to choose between activities (for example, playground or library) to give
her some independence.

The schedule is two-sided, so we can differentiate between morning/early afternoon and
afternoon/evening. However, she doesn’t have a sense of time yet. We use timers to
give her a warning when an activity is about to end and we need to move on to the next.
This has worked really well! She even requests a timer when she wants just a few more
minutes to wrap up whatever she is doing. Giving Eleanor more autonomy over her day
has been a great way for our family to maximize love, manage stress!

By Lizzy Tahsuda

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