Thursday, 1 December 2011

Is Structure a Part of your Child’s Life?

  • Does your child get so engrossed in play that he turns a deaf ear on you when you plead with him to stop and carry on home?

  • Do you find it hard to get him to sit in one place and do his homework?

  • Does he refuse to switch off the television even after repeated reminders that it is time to go to bed?

Do you find yourself getting stressed over repeating yourself several times through the day? And yet get no response from your child day after day? Finally, you are forced to literally remove the chid from the situation he is in;

  • Carry him forcefully and run home from the park.

  • Drag him to to the study table, hold his hands and make him finish his homework.

  • Switch off the television, disconnect the cable and carry him to bed while he struggles to free himself from your grip.

And lots of similar instances.

Do you also have to face tantrums and bad behaviour whenever you force your child out of something he is engrossed in?

Then all you need to do to make life smoother is set up a structure- a timetable that clearly spells out the child’s activities for every single day of the week.

Get creative and name your slots in the structure. Some examples are-

  1. Lunch Time
  2. Play Time
  3. TV Time
  4. Fun Time
  5. Dinner Time
  6. Art Time
  7. Homework Time


Choose names that work for your child. Make a chart that has this structure on it and put it up in the child’s room. If the child likes art, get him to decorate the chart. If he can write, let him do the writing on the chart himself.

When you have a structure in place, the child knows exactly what to expect at different times during the day. This makes his transition from one activity to the next a lot smoother. And you are more relaxed as well! Make sure you follow the structure consistently. Keep in mind that there will be days when you will need to be flexible for varied reasons. On such days, make sure you explain to the child beforehand about any changes you intend to make.

For a young child, you will have to create the structure yourself. But if you have a child who is older, get him to participate in creating the structure and give him the freedom to do so, while ensuring that all relevant activities are included in the same. This way the child also feels responsible for his structure and knows what needs to be done at different times of the day.

Most children respond well to structures. So, go ahead, have a structure in place and make life easy for you and your little one!

<p><a href="">Image: photostock /</a>

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