Friday, 20 March 2015

Our youngsters like routine

Our birth children Alice and Nicola (both aged 2) seem to like routine - just not all the time.

At bedtime routine is vital to them. They are supposed to put their toys back into their "toy box home" and sometimes they remember to do this without being told!  They think they have to go to bed at the same time and there will be protests and even tears if they don't. But the most important thing is that whichever grown-up is putting them to bed must, must, must remember to give the bear and the lion a good night kiss before turning the light out.

Routine is a bit more of a complicated issue for Ella and I. If you swap between foster homes each time there will be a different set of family routines to get used to. Sometimes routines are fairly flexible but I can remember times when they were fiercely guarded and no variation was ever allowed. This added to the trauma of the new placement. Family traditions are usually fairly arbitrary and sometimes irrational and foster kids have no sense of ownership of them

In the Children's Home routine was everything. Mainly because routine was what the staff wanted. Staff used to come and go and other staff only worked certain days so it was easier for the Home Manager is everyday was basically like every other day. Rather like in prison as some of more street-wise kids used to say!

As grown-ups we still struggle with social situations that involve other peoples' routines. We never picked up on the "don't all families do X" events and sometimes we are left puzzled by the way mainstream people act.

Sales of our book "How I survived in and out of Care" are reasonable but haven't reached 100 yet. If readers would buy a copy we would be mega grateful!


  1. It's so true that routine is sometimes the way the adults want it or are used to it being. What a great bit of advice to let your children help decide on routine so they can have some ownership of it. Thanks for sharing on #WASO

  2. Sometimes I think I as the adult struggle with sticking to the routine more than our girls. When I get tired or I'm juggling too much I think I'll just cut a couple of corners. Often this causes more problems and takes longer to settle them back down. It does pull on my heart strings if I just give my daughter a kiss and don't lean in for the looonnggg hug she so needs before lights out. Do you have a link to your book? I would like to take a look.


  3. A year and a half in and Buddy still struggles with remembering all the rules he needs to follow at school and and home. Things were much different in the orphanage for him. He thrives on structure, even though he isn't much a fan of it! I find is so wonderful to hear your perspective on these kind of topics, thanks for sharing!