Routines: Laundry, Dishes and Homework OH MY!

Routines: Laundry, Dishes and Homework OH MY!

With school back in full swing our schedules become hectic. Football practice, piano lessons, dance class, packing lunches, homework on and on. How do you fit everything in? Routines and schedules are important for children as well as adults.

Routines give children a sense of security and confidence. As adults, we rarely enjoy something random being thrown at us; it goes the same for children. Morning time routines can help get your child off on the right foot for the day. You can even come up with a little “song” to help your child remember what comes next or be creative and let your little one help make a poster. An example of a morning routine would be (times will vary)

  • Wake Up
  • Make up bed
  • Wash Up (either bath or washing face depending on if they bathe am or pm)
  • Get Dressed (Have shoes and backpack at front door as well as a jacket if it’s chilly)
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Brush Teeth
  • Put on shoes (Backpack and jacket are already at front door)
  • Off to School

Setting routines will help children develop time management skills at a young age – a lifelong advantage.

Dr. Laura Markham states in her article, Structure: Why Kids Need Routines, “Routines eliminate power struggles because you aren’t bossing them around.  This activity (brushing teeth, napping, turning off the TV to come to dinner) is just what we do at this time of day.  The parent stops being the bad guy, and nagging is greatly reduced.”

As a parent I often feel as if I’m “nagging” but when we put the ball in their court, it becomes a life lesson. For example; if your child is playing with the iPad and it’s not “tech time”, you simply explain to them it’s not “tech time” so we will turn it off until that designated time.

Routines will also make the time spent with your child more valuable. If we are always running around chaotically we aren’t “enjoying the moment”. Set aside time in the evenings unplugged.

You can be creative with your routines and follow your child’s cues. If they seem tired and need to go to bed before the designated time, it’s ok. If you don’t have dinner on the table at 5 pm, it’s ok. Just by your child knowing what comes next helps them tremendously.

Routines: Laundry, Dishes and Homework OH MY!
Jessica Fox, Contributor

Carolina Pediatric Therapy © October 2014

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