Do your family routines need some work? Here is how to create simple sustainable family routines the kids do willingly that are stress free.
A routine is, at its core, a bunch of things you do over and over again.
The truth of the matter is, as a mama, you pretty much end up doing the same things over and over again, whether you are purposeful about them or not.
Everyone has to eat, have diaper changes, go to bed, and get dressed. To name a few. So, without well-oiled family routines, you end up doing all this stuff randomly and chaotically.
…and you are usually the one who has to micro-manage it all for everyone.
The whole point of routines is so you don’t have to do that.
If I had to micro-manage all 5 of my little ones daily hygiene, every day tasks, and responsibilities then I’d lose my mind.
Of course, as every mom does, I have to manage the environment of my home actively. Still, creating family routines the kids (and my husband) follow independently saves us all time and frustration.
Why family routines are important
So, here are some reasons that family routines are important.
- They spread out family responsibilities to everyone in the home.
- Chaos is cut down because everyone knows what to expect
- Days are more predictable
- You can make sure all that needs to be done, gets done routinely
- Life feels more manageable
There are gobs more reasons, but we’ll start with those. :)
Where to start…
When my two oldest children were just out of the baby stage and into the toddler stage, I noticed that our mornings were getting a bit chaotic… All of the sudden, gone were our peaceful mornings and in was chaos and messes… everywhere! This is not how I wanted to start my day.
The routine I had of feeding and snuggling was no longer applicable to our morning schedule and I needed to make a change.
Here’s the ticket- when you feel a time of the day becomes chaotic or unorganized….it’s time to start a routine there.
I choose a family routine to replace our chaotic mornings because I wanted to spend quality time with my kiddos (I missed those feedings & snuggles) and I knew I didn’t want the chaos.
Want your kids to learn to independently follow their routines? These visual routine cards do the trick.Learn More
I decided that I would begin every morning by reading 4-5 short stories in our favorite reading chair together. This simple family routine made our mornings much easier.
Not only were my kids happier, but I found that my stress level went down because I was once again enjoying the company of my precious kiddos in the morning time.
Specific times of the day that can benefit from routines
Can you think of a time of the day you wish was less chaotic and stressful? If you answered yes, it may be time to start some family routines…
Here are some examples of different times that implementing a family routine may make your day easier:
- First thing in the morning – Having a morning routine can help to get everyone ready and out the door, especially if you have multiple children.
- Before school – If you don’t have a school ready routine in play, I highly recommend this for everyone’s sanity.
- At the breakfast table – I have found that at the breakfast table, it’s especially nice to have an “older sibling helps the younger sibling” family routine.
- After school – Nobody likes it when kids come in from school like a herd of wild animals. Kids should have an after school routine that incorporates manners and organization of their school necessities.
- Free time – Even though it’s free time, it’s nice to have some core family routines in play for everyone’s safety.
- Media time – If you allow your kid’s to use devices, a family routine could be essential for their safety and wellness.
- Nap time – Having a family routine in play during this time make’s nap time much more manageable.
- Meal times – Unless you like having to literally do everything yourself, look into some great family routines for meal times. You’ll be surprised how much your kids can help out!
- Bedtime– Bedtime routines are absolutely essential for the manageability of this time, especially with multiple children at different ages.
- Chore time– This goes beyond a simple chore chart and deals with more specific behavior requirements and expectations.
Read These While You’re At It
How to brainstorm
It’s time to get your day on track! Let’s brainstorm together…
The Family Routines Planner is here to help! It will help you brainstorm and plan your daily routines. Here are some tips to get you started:
First, begin by writing down the trouble points in your day. Then, write in that part of your day as a routine (create a new routine).
Next, if you have small kid’s, then using visual cues like the Printable Routine Cards For Toddlers, Preschoolers, & School Aged Kids can be a huge help!
One a routine has been taught, help the kid’s get involved with each step and test out its effectiveness. Remember, being flexible as time goes on may be key in the longevity of your routine.
FAQs about family routines
Begin by pinpointing a time of your day that feels too chaotic and unorganized. Then, find that place in your Family Routines Planner and write in a plan for your routine during that time. Be sure to test it out with your family and make tweaks if necessary.
Routines make children feel secure and confident. If a child is thriving in a routine, he or she will have a sense of safety and contentment. Also, children with strong routines are more apt to have good self esteem, take on responsibilities, and make predictable choices.
Routines help keep anxiety down for kids and adults. Research shows that chaos and confusion can lead to stress. If particular times of the day are lacking routine, the chaos that follows can spark anxiety. Routines establish order and breed peace.
You can simplify family life by keeping a Family Routines Planner and being cognizant of when your day is lacking a routine. A routine is simply put, something that you do repeatedly. Make the things that you do over-and over-again meaningful and helpful to your day.