My husband and I went away for a long weekend, so our two-year old got to spend four nights at his grandparents’ house. We sent him off with an instruction manual that outlined his daily schedule and routine. I understand that being in a different house, with different people, things cannot be exactly the same, but I still expected his schedule and routines to be followed the best that they could.
I know that the instruction manual may have been a bit controlling of me, but I worked hard at getting my son on a schedule that works for both of us, and I know how difficult he can be if he doesn’t get enough sleep.
The Routine Aftermath
Long story short, when he came home he was a wild man. It seemed as if he hadn’t heard the word “no” all week. He was difficult when we tried to go about our regular day, and he had issues going to and staying asleep at night. Needless to say, the next few days were a re-training boot camp. We had to go through sleep training again. We had to engrave “please” and “thank you” back into his brain. And we spent time relearning the rules and boundaries of the house. It was a lot of work, again, but eventually we got back to normal.
Sometimes life gets in the way, and schedules and routines need to be shifted a bit. However, they are of the upmost importance in a child’s life! Children crave routine because it creates a safe environment. Routines allow them to know what to expect and when to expect it. Rules and boundaries add to that safe environment by allowing a child to know how to behave, and how they can expect others to behave around them. But after all your schedules, routines, rules and boundaries are set, they must be consistently followed; otherwise, the just don’t work.