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kindergarten teacher, sun lover, scorpio-introvert, dog mom, obsessed with low-tox living. Hoping to help you parent your littles, make some clean swaps, & simply live your best life.

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mackenzie

3/01/2022

INSTALLING ROUTINES

Every day your kiddo has some iPad time, and every day it’s a struggle to get him/her off of iPad time and onto the next thing. Some days it goes fine, but more often than not it takes a bit of time to transition away from the iPad. This could be for a number of reasons that I won’t go into (i.e. psychology behind iPad usage) because that’s not the purpose of this post! This is all about supporting you in helping your child transition from one thing to another and do it smoothly and efficiently. Here’s what you do: make it desirable & easy to do!

How do you do that? Make it a routine. In your routine you can weave in fun things to make it desirable, and a routine makes it easy to do! So, how do you turn it into a routine? Say no more, I’ll walk you through it below:

I call it “installing a routine” and here’s how it works:

On your own (i.e. without your child) 

  1. Map/think out what you want done 
  2. Break it down into clear steps
  3. Identify the problem moments
  4. Identify opportunities to turn the moment into something “fun” and more enticing for your child. These will be things that give your child more autonomy & involvement

Example:

  1. Map: I want my child to put the iPad down and come to snack.
  2. This involves: putting the iPad away, and coming to the table where snack is ready.
  3. Problem area: It’s difficult every day to get my kid to do this whole routine. He/she doesn’t want to stop watching the iPad. Once he/she starts eating we’re okay.
  4. Opportunities for “fun” / inclusion: We could have a special place for his iPad. He loves picking out his dishes, so he could get to do that. 

With your child:

  1. Call attention for your child to the fact that they do the same thing daily. Tell them you’re going to turn that time into a fun transition, but pick words that work for your kid!

Example:

“Do you notice that every day we do the same thing after iPad time? We always finish iPad time and go to snack. Today we are going to make that time SUPER fun.”

  1. Include your child in deciding what to do to make it more fun. Offer some ideas, but make sure to ask if they have any. When they come up with the ideas they’re way more likely to do it! As long as it’s not unsafe and as long as it doesn’t harm anything, even if it’s silly, try to be super open here. 
  2. Go through step by step and take a picture at each step of the way showing what’s expected. Have your child model what they do each step of the way. Put these pictures into a simple document with numbers showing first, second, third etc. 
  3. Practice round! Make sure this is 100% set up for success and do lots of celebrating. 
  4. Reinforce. Stick to the plan. Help your child stick to the plan. If for some reason you can’t or know you’ll both fail that day, acknowledge it. “We’re having a tough day and are going to make a different plan today. That happens sometimes and it’s okay.” 

Why this works:

Having a certain place for the iPad makes it easier to “end” that activity. Especially because the place the iPad goes is silly and fun, so the child can look forward to that experience. 

Having him/her involved in something they enjoy about the next activity helps them move through their resistance and transition away from the iPad. There’s a lot of science behind the positive impacts of kids being included in decisions. You might hear it called “buy in” or “autonomy” and it’s very valid! When I paired it with structured routines in my classroom I saw a whole different level of creativity, compassion, focus & learning. 

Still struggling with this or with something else? Book a free 20 minute call with me to get some support! Book free introductory consultation here.

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