As I prepare to add a new little person to our household, I have been reading books and online resources about dealing with any "issues" or concerns that come with this addition to our family. From the regular jealously issues that come with new siblings to dealing with attachment and loss concerns, one constant suggestion kept popping up: develop a routine but allow for flexibility. I have been working on creating a more consistent routine for my son since I became a stay-at-home mom. Previously, I worked a crazy shift-changing schedule in law enforcement, was on-call 24 hours a day and had a deployed husband. The only thing routine in our lives was a lack of consistency. I will forever be indebted to fantastic care providers that helped add the needed consistency to my son's life. And we recognize that other loving adults will play a role in my new child(rens?) life-whether that be their biological family, past foster families, case workers, or care professionals.
After researching what is one of the best ways to move your new child into feeling part of the family is to include them in any family business-chores, family meetings, decisions (what to eat, where to go, etc.) We are currently working with my two and a half year old in fulfilling his family role and are finding success with the wood magnet responsibility chart from Melissa and Doug (shown in the pictures). It has lots of options to include for age appropriate responsibilities (pick up toys, make bed, etc.) and expectations (kept hands to self, etc.) However, there are alot of great free resources on line for making a chart completely personalized for your child and their developmental level. I have included the best resources I have found on making a responsibility chart for your child as well as great articles on establishing a routine for your family!
Responsibility Chart Resources:
Personalizable Chore Chart from Mod Eco Kids
Preschool Chore Chart (and great information on allowances!) from Simple Mom
DIY Photo Chore Cards (perfect for the younger kiddos) from The Creative Mama
Kid's Morning Routine Printable Cards from Living Locurto
Establishing Routine Articles:
Positive Guidance for Preschoolers from Not Just Cute (I found the "What's Going On? Considering the source of Behavior" article particularly applicable for our foster kids-to-be!)
Bathtime Meditations from Simple Kids
What resources help you establish routine and rythym in your home? If you are a foster or adoptive family, are there any specific things that have helped you deal with the loss/grief/attachment issues that may come with our kiddos? Share your knowledge and links!