How can I help children handle a change in routine?

Changes in the daily routine are inevitable. As adults, we’re prepared for changes in our routines and are able to navigate them relatively smoothly. Despite accepting that these things do happen, it can still cause anxiety or frustration as we try to adjust.

For children, even the slightest change to their daily routine can have drastic effects on their mood and ability to navigate their day. As child care providers, it’s often up to you to help the children in your care handle any changes that their daily routines may experience and to help them do so with minimal upset or frustration.

To help you understand the importance of a child’s daily routine while in care, Care Courses offers Creating Schedules and Routines. One of the many interesting components to the course is a section discussing changes in routines and how to help children adjust to them, which is what we’ll be discussing today.

A change in routine should not immediately prevent a problem as long as child care providers:

  • Have a good understanding of individual children’s needs and abilities to handle change.
  • Limit the number of changes that are introduced at any one time.
  • Prepare children for changes before changes occur. This is also an excellent opportunity to include parents as an additional layer of support for the child.

Even though all young children benefit from a consistent and predictable daily routine, there are some children who are more adaptable by nature. Children who are not as adaptable need exposure to new experiences, but do their best when faced with one small change at a time. Repeated exposure to the same new situation, without pressure to adapt, is usually the best way to approach this. While exposing the child to the new situation, talk with the child and discuss similarities between the old routine and the new routine to help them adjust to the change.  

Another way to help children adapt to various changes in routine is to create a schedule that is easily followed and kept to. To find out more about the importance of scheduling your day and to find out more about keeping to a specific routine, check out Creating Schedules and Routines on our website.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: We’re here to help!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply