Congratulations, we made it to September! School is starting back up. With the constant changes in societal guidelines, we are finding life continuing to move further into uncharted territory. One thing that has helped me stay afloat during the never-ending chaos our world has become is maintaining a family routine.
Having a routine can help to create some calm within the family even when there are outside things we cannot control. If your family does not have a routine it can be really easy to start. Let’s pick a few things to help the day go by smoothly for any size family.
Brush teeth in the morning
Have time for school work
In the afternoon, help with a chore
Set aside clothes for the next day
Brush teeth in the evening
Have a set bedtime
I also like to ask my family for their input for meal ideas. For example: My children each pick a dinner Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This helps them feel heard, it guarantees that one night each of them will like what is offered. On Thursday, we have “Smorgasbord Night” where I place all the leftovers from the previous meals out and they get a choice as to what they eat for dinner. I write our menu on the whitewash board in the kitchen.
The key to a successful routine is consistency, predictability, and follow-thru. Consistency: making sure that what you start to implement is something that you feel comfortable with doing regularly. Then Predictability will occur: the family will know what to expect and when. Lastly and most important is the Follow-Thru: Stand firm on the change that is happening. Kids love to take that inch when they can, as cute as they are - don’t let them. One inch turns into one mile very quickly!
If your family does not have a routine already, start with one or two changes a week. This will help you feel successful. There are days when everyone will be on their A-game, this feels amazing! Life is turning a new page of peace and calm. On other days, there will be some setbacks. Curveballs get thrown into the game and it is ok to call it a day. Just remember tomorrow is a new day to try again.
Routines do not have to be boring, consider making a small poster to hang up as a gentle reminder. This can be a family activity. The more that everyone is included, the more happy everyone is to work on the new routine being brought into the house.
Here’s to a happy and successful fall!