Life is busy! It can be challenging to feel organized and find enough time in the day to accomplish all of our desired tasks. This often leaves us feeling overwhelmed and inefficient in our efforts. We may find ourselves taking frantic action instead of inspired action leaving us exhausted and overwhelmed.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every family needs a routine. Are you or your kiddos confused about your family routine? Do you want to establish order in your home, but struggle knowing where to begin? You are not alone! This is a common parenting pain point for parents. I am here to help!
By establishing and maintaining a family routine, you can replace overwhelm with organization, inspired action, and task completion. You can replace boredom, lack of motivation, or lack of confidence with satisfaction, clarity, and confidence. Are you ready to get started?
What is a routine?
Before we dive more into the “how” of your routine, it is important to understand the definition of routine. The terms routine and schedule are often confused. By definition, routine refers to being done or happening in a usual or standard way. By definition, schedule refers to a plan for carrying out a process or procedure with lists of intended times and events.
For example, if bedtime is at 7:30 pm this is your kiddos’s schedule. Their routine includes the usual way that your kiddo prepares for bedtime (bath, brush teeth, story time, etc).
Routines can be flexible. They are recognized by a sequence of things that you do. As you start your bedtime routine, you may end up falling asleep. Your routine leads you to believe it is bedtime and your body can follow the cues. Children respond very well to these cues. They can be coached into the mindset that it is time for bed. Without the consistency of a routine, it is more challenging for your child to know what is going on, what their role is, and what is coming next.
Does your family currently focus more on routine or schedule?
Why establish a routine?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), every family needs a routine. Routines help promote organization and reduce chaos. Daily routines help families’ complete everyday tasks. As kiddos recognize and establish routines, there is less nagging, reminding, and resistance to task completion. Routines promote individual autonomy, increase our littles’ self-esteem, bring a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, and encourage healthy habits for our kiddos. While all children benefit from them, some personalities and behaviors have a greater need for routine.
Research indicates routines strengthen family bonds, help your kiddos develop a sense of family trust and belonging, and teach shared responsibility. Family life runs smoother with the use of routines. The research also suggests routine teaches your child what is most important to your unique family values.
Take a minute to think about how your current family routines speak to your family beliefs and values. Identify areas that you are doing a great job! What are areas you want to work on? Routines that build family values help strengthen your shared beliefs and build a sense of belonging and togetherness in your family. Good routine will meet the needs of all family members, teaching your child the importance of teamwork and family unity. In addition, research states that maintaining normal daily routines helps children cope with stressful events and life experiences. It helps them feel safe and secure. Another benefit to daily routines includes help setting your littles body clock. For example, with consistent bedtime routines, your kiddos little bodies recognize it is time for sleep. Consistent routines promote effective and efficient time management helping you identify time use discrepancies. As you practice consistency in your family routine, you will gain greater confidence and satisfaction in you parenting skills through task completion and increased organization. Routines can also help resolve and prevent disputes. For example, if Friday night is family movie and pizza night, there is no argument about the family dinner and activity. Or if Monday is your oldest child kitchen clean-up night, Tuesday the middle kiddo, and Wednesday the youngest, this routine leave no question as to who cleans up the kitchen on these designated evenings.
Routines also promote quality time for parent and kiddo interaction. Do you ever feel that you are not spending enough time present with your child? Make uninterrupted time with your children part of your routine. For example, carve out consistent unplugged time each day to spend with your child free from the distractions of your cell phone, laptop, television etc. If your work schedule minimizes time with your child, consider a routine that promotes time together. For example, make their bedtime routine quality bonding time every evening or have your kiddo help you in the kitchen as you prepare dinner each night.