One of the trickiest things to get into, but then almost most rewarding is to get into simple daily habits for our son.
So, habit always makes it sound a bit strange to me.I think of habits such as when I used to smoke (23 years and counting since I gave up) and similar things. But, a habit is something you need to repeat; and there are things we need to do daily that we need to repeat when it comes to helping our son.
For example. When we get up in a morning; we need to make sure we follow the same repeated procedure of making up some breakfast for our son, then he sits in the same chair, we show him the symbol for breakfast as well as saying it; as we put the food on the table. Then he eats it.
When he finished breakfast; we let him play for a short time before changing him; we repeat the same phrase to tell him when it's time to get changed.
When it's time for brushing his teeth, we have a repeated process. When it's time for school, we show him the card for the car, then the book from the school with his teacher and TA's in. This is a daily habit - thought some of it changes a little on weekends when no school.
Part of the habit is getting used to setting up and using the procedure in the first place. Getting into a habit of showing the sign, repeating the words we use and it meaning the exact same thing. Getting into this habit is difficult as it is so easy to slip out of it and just say the words or say something different or not at all.
The whole idea is to create the habit, to give structure so that our son knows what is happening. Without these, in place, there could be meltdowns.
Some habits are good; these simple daily habits for our son help him process what he is about to do. That said, sometimes it's good to break that habit. Add a bit of spontaneity so that he knows things can change. Change can be good too.
There are times where things do change. For example, you may be out and have said 'we're going to this play'. You arrive, and it's closed. Maybe you've built up a story to go a particular place, but have some issue that stops you. Maybe it's about something you said you were going to get that day and they are all gone.
I think, as you may have guessed, sometimes things change, sometimes we say something and we can't-do. This is why, when we have built these routines and habits; it's things that are in our control. Things such as when they have breakfast or when he goes to school. Things that, even if you go away for a week, you can still follow through with. At the same time though,
At the same time though, we don't build routines or habits about going out or picking something up as we know these can change; and we've suffered meltdowns in the past. I hope that makes sense 🙂 as, for us, this works best.
Simple daily habits for our son work well; they add structure for him and help him understand and know what is going to happen.