Setting up for success

Some children need a routine more than others. All busy families benefit from a bit of structure.


Gully is always worried. What if something happens? What if something doesn’t happen? What if he gets hurt, scared, or what if it’s all too much?
Sometimes, Gully is so focused on his worries that he has a hard time focusing on what he has to do, like get ready for school.
Routines are predictable and remind Gully of what he needs to do when his mind is somewhere else.

Does this sound like your child?


Why are routines so important?

Routines are a great way of helping kids feel safe. They are predictable and a great way to help reduce stress. They can help teach children about time management. They also show your child what is important to your family and make kids feel like they belong by supporting a sense of togetherness.

How to put a routine in place?

When is a good time for a routine? Anytime that helps your family work together to accomplish a task. Here are some examples:

When is a good time for a routine?

Anytime that helps your family work together to accomplish a task. Here are some examples:
☻  Bedtime
☻  Waking up and getting ready for school/work
☻  Saturday morning chores
☻  Getting ready to go to soccer practice
☻  Dinner time
☻  Getting ready for a trip

Watch this video on Setting up for Success

With an introduction and follow up by Dr King at The Mary J. Wright Child and Youth Development Clinic, Faculty of Education, Western University.

Think about some strategies you and your child can try to help them self-regulate.

Practice makes perfect!

Parents play a big role in helping children learn to self-regulate. Set a good example on how to manage emotions.

Provide structure and support.

Be patient, routines sometimes take practice!

Working together is key!

Creating a Plan

  • Creating a plan helps you and your child work together to manage big feelings in the future.
  • Print off the plan on the kids page <<< Wendel’s bedtime Burrito >> and come up with a plan together.
  • Take the plan with you ( print off or on your phone) so you can remember what you need to do when emotions start to rise. Don’t forget to bring Poppy for some extra support!

You can use this plan to explain to family, friends or care givers how you and your child are working together to overcome big feelings. Use it to communicate to your child’s school or family doctor too!

Things to remember when building a plan:

  • Prep: Go over the day/event. What is expected? What will you do? What do you need your child to do? What can you do together?
  • Print off the plan and take it with you so everyone remembers what they need to do.
  • What are the important things to remember? What are the key parts of the plan? Determine the tough points: when does it get difficult, what are we going to do when that happens?
  • Yes to success! Maybe next time? What do we need to different, or do we just need practice? Even the best plans need practice sometimes!

The Plan (example)

Working together to:

Accomplish chores and get ready for lessons on Saturday morning

What happened?

Prep- what will today look like:

  • Wake up by 8:30
  • Time for 1 TV show
  • Breakfast at 9
  • Everyone gets dressed at 9:30
  • Chores from 10-11
  • Get ready for lessons at 11
  • Front door with bags by 11:30
  • Leave house at 11:45

Saturday morning

How did I react

Parent- what will be my role in this plan:

  • Review the plan with child Friday night
  • This would be a good time for questions
  • Set everyone’s alarm for 8:30
  • set up TV show/make breakfast
  • Help assign chores
  • Remind child what they need for their lesson
  • No yelling – patience and understanding

March 18. 2024

What can I do instead?

Child- What will my role be in this plan:

  • Make sure I understand the plan- am I OK with the plan?
  • This is a good time for questions
  • Make sure I hear and understand the 30-minute warning. If I think I am going to struggle- go find parent
  • 10-minute warning- help clean up
  • No yelling
  • Let someone know if the big feelings are starting
  • Grab coat, put on shoes, hold Poppy

Strategies we can use: Squeezing like a lemon, blowing up a balloon

Now It’s your turn!

  • Don’t forget to collaborate with your child and validate their feelings
  • Go to the kids page and help your child work through the activities in the Wendel library << #2: Wendel gets the sillies >>
This is your chance to work with your child to come up with a plan for next time. Work through the activities on this kids page together. They have been designed to help you start a conversation. Come up with a plan that works for everyone.

The important thing is you are trying and you’re working together.