Routines provide a backbone to family life

CHildren and routines, children help cook, children like jobs, chores and children

Children enjoy routines around mealtime, school and bedtime.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to follow a daily work routine. Distractions often tempt me in my home office. A routine provides a structure that gives me focused work and play time. Routines help me feel better and accomplish more.

Children and teens thrive upon a routine. They like to know what is happening next. It helps them make sense of the chaotic world we live in. Even if the routine isn’t followed 100 percent of the time, it is a backbone that can bend, twist and support daily tasks.

My friend Ned is newly separated from his wife. The family is establishing a new routine in which the teenagers are learning how to manage living at Dad’s house part-time. “My son has adjusted, but my daughter doesn’t always want to come and visit me. She finds it hard to come to my house for the weekend,” Ned said.

Ned has established a place for his daughter at his place. Adhering to regular visitation and creating a system to track belongings can help his daughter feel more secure. A milk crate or basket kept near the door can hold her belongings that must be transported to both homes. It’s all about developing new routines.

Children are constantly evolving and their routines evolve with them. A toddler’s morning routine to get them ready for the day is different from a teen’s morning habits. The younger the child, the more the parents are involved in setting and maintaining the routine. Children like structure at home and at school/day care because it gives them a sense of control.

What are the routines in your family? How can they be tweaked? What situation at your home could benefit from a routine?

Start with a family meeting to discuss the situation and ask the children for ideas on how to solve it and implement the solution. I like the idea of a “30-day free money back guarantee” for new ideas to make the family run more smoothly. When the children suggest a strategy at a family meeting, give it a try. It may work and implementing it will develop your child’s self-esteem.

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One Comment on “Routines provide a backbone to family life”

  1. incoherently Says:

    Great insight. Looking forward to more tips!

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