May 7 is going to be a big day here at Kids' CBC. That's when the number-iffic new "Monster Math Squad
" joins our line-up and we launch our new weekday
But while we can hardly wait for these great changes, we understand that schedule changes are tough on preschoolers and families, and we do our best to minimize them as much as possible and give lots of advance notice.
"Preschoolers love routine," developmental psychologist Dr. Oldershaw explains. "A predictable routine allows children to feel safe, and to develop a sense of mastery and control over their environment. Children handle change best when they know it's going to happen. They can prepare for it and develop ways to manage it. That empowers them by helping them gain a greater sense of control over their world."
To help make our upcoming schedule changes easier for preschoolers to handle, we asked Dr. Oldershaw for some advice. Here's what she suggests:
• Decide how much watching the show represents a routine. Does your child watch it at the same time every day? Is the show a predictable part of their morning, and something they count on every day? If you answer "yes," then preparing your child for the upcoming change is a good idea.
• Figure out the best time to tell your child about the change. Telling a three-year-old that their favourite show won't be on in a month isn't helpful--that's too far away for them to comprehend. Parents need to gauge their child's ability in this regard, and plan accordingly.
• Introduce your child to the show that will be moving into their favourite show's time slot. See what you can find out together about the new show online: read what it's about, meet the characters, draw pictures of them, play show-related games, etc. This helps build anticipation, so children will eagerly await the arrival of the now-familiar new show.
• If the show is more important than the time slot, you can move your child's TV time to match the new schedule. Talk with your child about the changes it will mean to his or her routine and decide if your child is ready to make the move.
• If you have a DVR, you can avoid disrupting the routine altogether by recording the show in its new time slot and playing it at the time your child is used to.
And don't forget to check Kids' CBC's video player
We'll be adding more videos soon to make it even easier for parents and preschoolers to catch their favourite shows anytime.