The summer is coming to a close, and it’s time to get the kids back in the swing of things. While the start of a new school year is a time to celebrate new beginnings, it can also be hard on parents. When everyone in your family is feeling a whirlwind of emotions, staying organised can be a challenge, especially if you’re a parent who is used to being in charge of everything. The best way to handle all of this change is to establish routines and find the time to plan out some activities in advance.
When school starts, parents around the country start to panic. When does your child wake up? When does your child go to bed? Does your child eat breakfast in the morning? Is your child on time? Is your child eating the right foods? Is your child getting enough sleep? Getting all of these things sorted before school starts back up again will help your kids with homework, grades, and behaviour and will also help keep family routines running smoothly. So, let’s go ahead now and explore exactly how best to go about this.
Tips to Get Your Child to Stick to a Routine
Give your child choices and set limits
Giving your child options when it comes to certain elements of their routine – such as what they are going to have for breakfast, or what toothpaste they would like to use – helps teach them to take responsibility for their own organisation. However, it’s important that you set certain rules, such as bedtime, homework time, etc, to make sure that they will accomplish everything they need to each day.
Kids need routines to help them learn, develop skills, and understand the world around them. As a parent, creating and sticking to routines for your child can help set them up for success. If you set a time for something, stick to it as best as you can, and your child should soon fall into the routine and know what is expected of them when.
Set a bedtime routine
Children need lots of sleep to function well, but they often don’t have a healthy bedtime routine. Establishing a bedtime routine for a child will help your child get to bed at the best time, and this will also help you establish a consistent sleep schedule so you can stay at your best too.
Establish a morning routine
Establishing a morning routine will help your kids feel ready to take on the day, and it’s a great habit to get into. Try waking up a little bit earlier than usual—5 or 10 minutes will do—and make your morning routine fun. Maybe that means playing a favourite show, or listening to music while they get dressed, but try not to make it a chore or use the same sorts of music/shows so that it becomes repetitive. Your kids will get into a routine more easily if they are excited to start the day.
Create a routine chart
Using a routine chart may be just what you need to get yourself and your family back on a regular schedule. A routine chart is a useful tool for parents and caregivers to use when helping a child to transition from one activity to another. A routine chart can help you and your children organise and prioritise daily tasks and helps kids know what to expect next, as well as a clear starting and ending time for each activity.
Get them involved
If you are going to go down the route of a chart or schedule, get your child involved with making the schedule. Offer tips and ideas for getting organised, and make sure to listen to their ideas too so that the final product is a combination of both your efforts and input. By doing so, you can give them a sense of control over their mornings, which may in turn help motivate them to do what is expected of them each day, making mornings easier for everyone.
Reward good behaviours
When it comes to motivating a child to stick to a routine, there is perhaps no stronger motivation than the promise of a reward. Rewards help a child make associations between a particular behaviour and something good, making them more likely to keep repeating the behaviour. Whether you choose to reward with a favourite food treat, extra TV time, or a slightly later bedtime at the weekend, rewards also help a child with transitions, such as bedtime, as these can also form a component of what your child needs to do in order to gain their reward.
Staying consistent with the routines you set for your child is critical to their development, but sticking to a strict schedule isn’t always possible in family life. By being flexible when it comes to certain tasks, you are avoiding putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and your child, and teaching them the importance of prioritisation and being adaptable.
When you establish a good routine for your kid, you’re helping them to succeed. When your kids learn a routine, they can better manage their time and effort. Routines are the foundation for success, so it’s well worth establishing one together as a family and then all taking responsibility to make sure this is followed so that family life is as peaceful, and productive, as possible.