Why Daily Routines Help Both Parents & Children
The school year can be chaotic for families. Between getting the kids up and off to school on time to making sure someone is home to take care of them at the end of the day and getting them to and from practices, games, meetings, events, etc., some days may seem nearly impossible to survive. By establishing and sticking to routines, you can get through all your family’s daily tasks and activities without driving yourself crazy. Routines help bring families closer together and keep a lot of problems from ever manifesting.
When you have multiple people who need to be in different places at different times on different days, coming up with an effective routine can be difficult. The rewards for doing so, however, are huge. Let’s take a closer look at daily routines and why they are essential for both parents and children during the school year.
The Basics: Why Routines Help
Routines allow us to organize ourselves to get things done. They also help us find time to spend together and to have fun. Each person and every family has their own unique routines, and there really is no right or wrong way to establish one. As long as your routines help the members of your family know what needs to be done when and by who, they will effectively help keep everyone on track.
Routines provide consistency, and they can make managing the lives and activities of multiple family members much easier. When parents and children share routines, they also help strengthen bonds through shared values and beliefs. They also build a stronger sense of togetherness and belonging within families.
Start by thinking about what needs to get done each day and what takes the longest to do. Things, like making breakfast, picking out clothes, packing lunch, bathing at night, and setting an alarm for the next day, may seem like a lot to remember, especially for kids. Instead of being overwhelming, make routines fun for your family! One great example is by turning a normal task, like picking out clothes for school, into something more fun that the kids will enjoy. It is helpful if kids feel like a part of the task, so give them the freedom to pick out one piece of clothing they will wear that day and give yourself the responsibility to pick out the rest.
Why Routines Are Essential for Kids During the School Year
As previously mentioned, the school year is a hectic time. No matter how old your kids are, you are responsible for making sure they wake up and get to school on time. You also need to get them to practices, games, etc. Having routines helps cut down on some of the chaos.
While some kids crave routine more than others, in general, having a routine offers numerous benefits. Creating a structured and organized home environment helps kids and teens feel secure, safe and looked after. This is especially true during times of high stress and through major life changes like going through puberty. Routines bring structure to homes even when the outside world is scary and uncertain.
Making chores a part of your family’s routine helps instill a sense of responsibility and teaches your kids responsibility. They have plenty of work that they need to do in school, but assigning tasks at home, too, makes them responsible for being a contributing member of the family.
Lastly, routines help kids establish healthy habits. Routines as simple as washing their hands after using the bathroom and brushing their teeth twice daily become lifelong habits. Since they help you organize and manage time, routines also help kids learn how to develop healthy habits for managing stress and getting things done when the workload seems overwhelming.
Why They Are Important for Parents
Developing effective routines takes some hard work, but once you have them set up, they are just as beneficial to you as they are to your kids. For starters, they make it easier to get through your daily to-do list, while also freeing up time for fun. Consistent and regular routines can help boost your self-esteem, too. They make you feel like you are doing a better job as a parent.
When life gets busy, having routines can help you lower stress. They keep you organized and on track, and even the simplest routines help things go smoother when life gets challenging. Something little like establishing the routine of everyone always removing their shoes at the front door means you won’t have to waste precious minutes helping your daughter find her sneakers on a busy morning.
If you are tired of refereeing disputes or making decisions, routines can help with that, too. If every Tuesday is taco night in your home, you won’t have to worry about deciding to make for dinner. And if part of your weekly routine includes playing board games as a family on Thursday evenings, there is no need for anyone to argue about what to do.
What Makes a Good Routine?
Clearly, routines are beneficial for the entire family, but how do you go about establishing good ones? There are no rules for what routines you should have or how many there should be. Yours should be based on your family’s unique needs and goals. Generally speaking, though, they should be well-planned to ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibility. Everyone should also feel that their responsibilities are fair and reasonable.
A good routine is one that can become an everyday part of your life. There will always be exceptions and times when routines get derailed. In general, though, an effective routine is one that you and your family can stick to the vast majority of the time.
Lastly, good routines are predictable. Things happen at set times and in a specific order. For example, your child wakes up at 6:30, eats breakfast, showers and then brushes their teeth. Or, your routine may include washing all of your kids’ t shirts on Sunday to ensure that everyone has everything they need when Monday morning rolls around.
Effective routines make the school year much more manageable for both kids and parents. They help ensure that everyone gets to where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there, and they help prevent tasks and commitments from slipping through the cracks. They also make kids feel safer at home and help moms and dads feel like they are doing a good job. From placing hats, jackets,
and shoes in one central location to setting strict bedtimes and wake-up times, there are several ways to make routines a part of your family’s lives.