Written by: Kendall A. | Umm Iman
(Originally Posted: May 7, 2020)
One of the biggest ways that we as parents can support our children is through creating predictability. This happens by establishing set routines, so that they know what to expect and when to expect it. Having the knowledge of what has passed and what is to come next makes children feel safe and in control, rather than feeling like their world is chaotic. This is particularly true for young children who cannot yet tell time. Having anchors in the day, such as meal times and sleep times, provides a sense of time for them.
As we continue to navigate this global pandemic and the new lifestyle that accompanies it, it is even more crucial for us to develop strong routines for our children to be able to thrive. I want to invite families to create a routine that works for them, making sure to include a variety of activities, experiences, and opportunities for learning, play, and growth anchored around some key timings for meals and sleep. Be flexible to the idea that this routine will change and evolve over time as needs and circumstances change. That is okay. It is also liberating to follow a “flow of time” or “general routine,” as opposed to a specific, by-the-clock schedule. I have found it easier to follow the same pattern of activity blocks, rather than stressing myself out if it’s 9:15am and my schedule says that I should have been done with something at 9am.
I am sharing one of our family’s routines that has helped us, with the hopes that it will inspire you to create your own, in sha Allah! Please note that since being home since mid-March, this routine has taken several transformations to accommodate seasonal changes, as well as shifts within our home. May Allah make this time easy on all of us. Ameen. I’d also like to invite you to check out “Preparation of the Self” for making sure that you are fully present and at your best to show up with your children, in sha Allah.