Establishing Toddler Routines

Crying fits of rage and fist pounding erupted in the corner by the bookshelf, as my toddler embarked on yet another temper tantrum in a long line of other temper tantrums. What is it with all these temper tantrums? This Mommy was at her wits end and it wasn’t even 9am yet.

As I reflected over the previous few days and even the previous week, the thought occurred to me that my toddler needed structure. He plays when he wants, where he wants, with what he wants, and I realized that he’s well past the age of baby led training. The time for parent-led child rearing has arrived.

I asked my trusted friend, Pinterest, what I should do, and I found a lot of really great information about how to establish routines with your toddler. The added bonus occurred when I found these free printables from Cornerstone Confessions that I could use to make my own routine chart for Samuel. I followed her directions to the “T” to make my charts and thus successfully implemented routines into our day.

Our Daily Toddler Routine

Morning Routine

  • Rise and Shine
  • Get dressed
  • Breakfast
  • Bible Time
  • Wash Hands
  • Vitamins/Herbs
  • Brush Teeth
  • Chores
  • Toddler Time (our modified pre-school at home)
  • Walk/Park/Activity
  • Wash Hands
  • Snack
  • Nap

Afternoon Routine

  • Lunch
  • Bible Time
  • Wash Hands
  • Free Time
  • Daddy’s Home
  • Wash Hands
  • Supper
  • Clean Up

Bedtime Routine

  • Go potty (aka, pretend potty to start introducing potty time)
  • Bath
  • Brush Teeth
  • Pajamas
  • Straighten room
  • Milk
  • Vitamins/Herbs
  • Story time
  • Good Night!

I have already seen an enormous difference in the number of temper tantrums that Samuel exerts himself to perform. The routine is just as good for me as it is for him. It ensures that I keep my “work hours” and don’t resort to trying to “check on one more thing” because my time is accounted for. I know what to expect when, and I find it far easier to switch gears when it’s time to write or check email. I imagine if it’s having this sort of effect on me, the adult, it can only be paying itself in dividends on my toddler’s internal clock!

What about you? Do have routines for your children?

This post is linked to The Better Mom, Mentoring Mamas, Welcome Home, Teach Me Tuesday, Time Warp Wife, Women Living Well, Works for Me, Let’s Hear it For the Boys, and Hearts for Home.

 

Comments

  1. Leah says

    Thanks for sharing, Leigh Ann! That idea looks awesome! I definitely need to move towards parent-led training as well. Does Samual like to use the charts yet?

  2. Kathy says

    Oh I am so glad to hear it worked for you too! Yeah! Hey I have a link party tomorrow on Cornerstone Confessions and I’d love you to link up your results.

    Kathy

  3. Bek says

    Thank you thank you thank you! I need to do exactly this immediately. I am so excited to have such a clear guide. Also, I noticed you mention “get used to the potty” as part of your bedtime routine and I thought I’d mention that we did and HIGHLY recommend http://www.3daypottytraining.com. The author suggests the ideal time is around 22 months but sooner if your child shows great interest. It worked brilliantly and we have shared it with everyone we know so I thought I’d share it with you. It literally only takes 3 days and 3 nights for #1, #2, day and night training and you’ll never need to purchase pull-ups. Just thought I’d share in case you could benefit from it! God Bless!

    • says

      Bek, thanks for sharing! My friend Anne from Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy actually did a small series on the 3 day potty training. It definitely intrigued me, which is also why I have been talking to Samuel A LOT about the potty. I will have to check out your link, as well. Thanks for sharing because it’s helping to solidify what I had been mulling around. I had a friend once tell me that when you think your child might be ready to potty train, wait 3 more months before even considering it. I think the 3 day potty training probably falls in line with this line of thinking since it recommends the 22 months as ideal time. Sam is interested, but far from ready. As for the chores, I’m glad you found the list helpful. Have fun with it!

  4. says

    Thanks for this! I’m excited to implement it. I would also really like to hear more about “Toddler Time.” What is your “modifies pre-school” for him?

    • says

      Toddler time is just a set aside time each day that we do some “sit still and learn with Mommy.” I have a board that we use for a guide. We talk about the weather, sing songs, choose a color and shape to talk about, and we sing the days of the week song. Then, we read some books and play together. It’s just some intentional time that we spend together talking, playing, and learning. He’s only 18 months old so some days we don’t even do anything but sing about the sun in the sky over and over! ha! I used a modified version of this – http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com/Calendar.html That site is great for gathering ideas!

  5. Amy P says

    Thank you! Claire is 16 months and I just can’t figure out where my sweet, self-entertaining baby went. She recently morphed into tantrums and constant whining and I’m going berserk. I’m going to try this! Wish me luck :)

    • says

      Right now, our Bible time looks like this:

      Breakfast – we read from the BIG people Bible. We ask our 22 month old before we begin, “What is this?” He responds, “Bible.” Then we ask, “Who talks to us in the Bible?” He responds, “God.” He’s just recently started getting the last question correct without prompting. We’re reading through Genesis right now. It is slow go, but we read a few verses, or as much as his attention span will allow. But we do require him to sit through at least one verse without talking. Usually this isn’t an issue because he’s occupied with his food. :)

      I’m considering incorporating in some Veggie Tales/What’s in the Bible DVDs at lunch time since he loves videos and this is a good time for us to work them in without it inhibiting his play time.

      Bedtime we always read a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. This is one of his favorite things to do! We love this little Bible. Then, we pray together and allow him to say a few things, mostly comes, “God. Thank You. Amen.” Oh, we do this for dinner as well. We allow him to pray for our dinner. He’s really catching on quickly.

      Hope this helps!

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