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I was wondering if any parents adhere to a very structured routine. I am thinking of starting a schedule that will have more consistent and structured activities, as well as pre-scheduled down time and free play. Right now, we stick to a good schedule for meals, naps, and bedtime but I am wondering if adding more structure to activities wold be a good idea for my 2-year old. Ideas?

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Interesting topic! Speaking as a mom of three, I would say it depends on your goal for the child that you feel needs the structure most. I would say my family's routine is "structured". Providing a set idea of what will be happening next has helped minimize outbursts of "overwhelm" (aka tandrums). We have a set evening routine on school/preschool days and more relaxed schedule on the weekends. We try to keep the bedtime routine and timing fairly consistent-- pjs, brush teeth/wash face, choose outfit for next day, bedtime story and song, lights out. I wish I could say routine works perfectly---most of the time it goes smoothly, sometimes not so much at all. What I have found also with transitions is that small steps towards imprinting a sense of order go a long way. For example, letting them know a few min ahead of time when something will happen (for younger tots, a goodbye song can be a good solution--heard a mom at a park do that. With my kids at 3 and 5, I tell them; "In 5 min, dinner will be ready, so please finish up your game" or I recruit them ahead of time for a special job in getting ready for whatever we are doing.) At bedtime, I let them know what the plan is the for next day's activities and any special instructions for the morning. My 3 year old doesnt really comply with those advance requests, lol, but it does help for my 5 year old. Also I make a point of teaching my older kids to not interrupt their little brother when speaking/concentrating. Fostering a sense of respect for even the youngest speaker at the table. What sort of structure were you leaning towards? Sticking to time table or more predictable sequence in daily activities with flexible timing?


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