Consistency and Routines
Thoughts & Reflections
Consistency and Routines. Consistency leads to the greatest success. Children thrive with routines. They’re some of our favorite words. While children are still creating self-discipline and an inner sense of order, it’s up to us to keep things consistent and follow a routine, to help children along the path.
But what about when things don’t work? What then?
Oh, it’s so hard. What any of us wouldn’t give to know how things turn out, what’s going to help a child over a hurdle, be successful with this next step.
It’s a balance, as so many things are. This isn’t a cop-out. We all wish we had The Answer, all the answers, all the time. But even Maria Montessori called her work with children an experiment. We can set up conditions for success, but they’re children, not computers, and it’s parenting and guiding, not coding, and they have the right to choose to follow their own will, not the requirement of adherence to our will. We can’t always predict what’s going to happen.
We are consistent and we follow a routine. There are ups and downs, easier days and more learning-ful days, but are things moving in the right direction? Are we moving toward success and independence?
This isn’t regimented. We don’t continue with something when it’s not working. We observe, what are the children showing us? What do they need? Time, modeling, a change?
Consistency and routines help a child with success, that doesn’t mean every day is going to be seamless and easy, that doesn’t mean the routine will never change. Sometimes the routine needs to change. The children will show us what they need. Sometimes things don’t work. Sometimes we set up the conditions for success — the modelling, the resources, the time, the patience, the assistance — and it still just doesn’t work.
We don’t keep at it. We look at what’s working, what isn’t. It’s not the children’s fault, it’s our opportunity. The highest consistency, is our own, looking for what we can do to help the children more effectively.
Consistency and Routine doesn’t mean sticking to what doesn’t work. It means consistently looking for what will work, and sticking to it until it doesn’t, and then trying again.
Written by:Charlotte Wood