If you want your kids to follow a daily routine, they have to help create it, and then feel supported as they practice mastering the routine on their own.
That sounds super obvious to most parents, but thats not always how things play out. We often let the kids take part when its convenient for us or when they are doing things right but as soon as they fall behind, or dont do things exactly the way we want them, we step in and muddle everything up.
Creating, executing and mastering routines takes time and while the kids are practicing, life happens.
But if we can shift our thinking, if we can let the routine lead the day, well find that children can take on more responsibility, become less dependent on us for everything and we can all enjoy that time between activities vs. rushing and hurrying things along.
What does this mean? If your child is supposed to pack a backpack for school, you won't jump in and do it as the clock starts ticking louder and louder. And so, yes, youll be late. Yes, your kid will wear PJs to school. Yes, they wont have a lunch if they dont feel like making one.
Once you learn to let go, the child will know you trust they can do it and thats when the magic happens. Obviously, allowing a kid to go to school hungry because they forgot their lunch or left their homework behind is a hard lesson to learn! Most parents think they just cant let that happen. But they soon find out they can and it only happens once or twice.
Over time, once your children realize youre going about the routine and that you trust them to manage on their own, they begin to master tasks that lead to confidence and capability. After the peaceful, relaxed and orderly routine is established, youll never look back!
Are you ready for a routine?
Kids can do so much. With a solid routine and less interference, kids of all ages CAN and WILL:
bring a backpack
get ready for bed quickly
wake up for school on time
brush their teeth
feed the pets
and so much more!
Itll be bumpy for just a short while. Once you master the routine, itll get smoother and sweeter. In the beginning, youll have to focus on these few things:
Patience. Dont step in, even if youre late.
Correcting. If a kid packs three granola bars for his lunch, hey its a start. Itll get better- dont get caught up in the little stuff.
Let go. Youll just have to sacrifice a few events (like bball practice or dinner out) in order to learn the routine.
Once its in place, itll be just fine.
Trust the kids. Just trust them. They will find a way if youre not there doing everything for them.