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Which is Better? Digital vs. Physical Routine Charts

The truth is, some things are better when they're analog, and a routine chart is one of them.

Kids' executive functioning skills aren't developed yet, and these charts provide a bridge between what we want them to do and what they're capable of doing. We want them to learn how to do things without relying on a device's notifications, which automatically interrupt us so we don't have to use our brains to remember them. It's similar to relying on a Maps app. We don't actually learn how to get to school if we rely on the maps to get us there every time.

Using devices keeps the invisible invisible - so unless we remember to check the list, we don't actually solve the whole "out of sight, out of mind" problem. It doesn't give us a sense of control over our lives — it gives us a sense of being dependent on a device so we don't completely lose our minds. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer my daughter not grow up that way.

We should also consider the impact of teaching our kids using apps. Notifications are great for things we need to be reminded of, but it's not ideal for reminding us to do things we need to do on a daily basis to take care of ourselves. Again, we aren't actually creating the neural pathways we need to learn a habit, and notifications affect our stress response.

According to Dr Sanam Hafeez, a psychologist at Columbia University, “[Notifications] send our brain into overdrive, triggering anxiety and stress, and at the very least, hypervigilance, which is meant to protect us from predators, not the phone.”

And, on a less serious note, it's nice to have something that you can use for years *without* a subscription.