In continuation of last post this one will deal with ways to get an unscheduled child scheduled. On this topic I can actually speak as somewhat of a guru. I have tried EVERYTHING to get my three year old on a schedule. It’s my own fault that he wasn’t trained until now. When he was a baby I sort of let him run on his own schedule, actually if I am totally honest it’s completely my fault for not being strict at all. He slept a lot in the day and went to bed really late. I thought this would be great for me because I would be able to sleep in as well. This was not the case because he would still wake early in the morning. This left me no time for myself and I suffered way more then he ever did.
As I mentioned before, my husband and I went on vacation and left the kids at grandma’s. My mother-in-law put them on a strict schedule. Their meals were set, they had a bedtime routine and a scheduled wake-up. The key to her success, as mentioned before, was consistency. This was always my biggest problem because I always found it easier just to concede. Now though I didn’t want to ruin what she had finally established. So how do I keep them on this schedule when I have never been consistent before? How do I get them to take me seriously?
For My daughter this was easy to accomplish. She was still young enough that if I stayed strict and consistent she fell in line. So that’s what I did. It was hard because I was not used to being strict and consistent but in the end it was definitely worth it.
After some hard thinking I devised a plan for my son. I drew a huge (2 foot tall) chart for him of his daily schedule. I divided it into morning, afternoon and night. I put the times and drew illustrations so he would know what each thing was without being able to read(see attached picture). This chart has worked wonders. He follows it to a ‘T’ and is asleep by 8:00pm. For me this has been a lifesaver. He has become so attached to his schedule that when my sister was napping in her bed he went to her and said “if you’re going to sleep here you have to follow the chart”. That made me feel fantastic and his following a schedule has made me feel like a better, more refreshed mom.