School is back in session. You have bought everything on your child’s school supply list. You were able to buy several pairs of clothes and shoes on sale. That brand new backpack with the matching lunchbox was worth the buy, and brought a smile to your child’s face. The first week of school is complete and the first week jitters are no longer existent. What do you do now? How do you make sure this is truly the best school year? Create a routine for your child.
Routines are known for being a critical part in supporting the development and growth for children. Routines are the foundation for mental health. They help create structure and establish expectations. When children know what to expect, they begin to complete tasks without being asked or prompted. This helps create self-regulated children. When everyone knows what to expect, it decreases stress or anxiety in an environment. They will also feel more confident and independent. Children will feel empowered and will feel less likely to be defiant.
Four Steps to Creating a Routine
Identify Important Times- wake up times, meal times, snack times, homework time, chore times, and bedtimes
If you are starting from scratch, start with wake up times, meal times, and bedtimes. These are
important to start with, because they overall affect how well your child rests which will affect how they
respond to their day.
Remember it takes longer than a day to start a habit. Practice allows for growth. Mistakes will be made.
Children may give some pushback. Do not give up or give in. Trust the process. Give your children and
Being spontaneous and creative are important characteristics for children. Things will come up and
cause disturbance in the routine. Embrace these changes. This helps teach children how to adapt to
change. Make adjustments if needed for special events or if things are not working.
Establish Family Time
Set a time to communicate with the family as a whole uninterrupted. This could include dinner with no
social media. Maybe you would prefer a daily walk as a family where you can explore nature. A weekly
game night could also be an option.
Additional Resources for Creating Routines at Home