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Let The Good Times Roll

Q. I know that routines are important for kids. So on weekends, should I follow the same schedule that my 3-year-old's accustomed to at daycare?

A. Children do thrive on consistency, but they also recognize that home is different from daycare. Even after a few days off, most easily slip back into the weekday routine, so don't feel obligated to plan weekends around the daycare schedule. "Saturdays and Sundays are for family fun, and a trip to the zoo or a visit to Grandma's can take priority over having lunch at exactly noon," says Roni Leiderman, Ph.D., associate dean of the Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies at Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

That said, some kids are more sensitive to inconsistency than others, so pay attention to your child's cues. If, for instance, it's hard to get him out of bed on Monday mornings, or his teacher says he's cranky then, you may want to make sure he has a chance to snooze at his regular naptime on weekends. (He doesn't have to doze at home  -- Grandma's sofa or the car will do just fine.)

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