Some people scoff at parents who implement a strict and regimented life for their children. Children, after all, are to be left to enjoy life without worrying about schedules and deadlines. But, there is some value to training kids to put some order in their daily lives. Establishing everyday routine for children is not difficult especially when it is done early enough in their lives.
“Train a boy in the way he should go;
– Proverbs 22:6
The verse advises parents to inculcate in a child life lessons that he would carry on to adulthood. This could be good moral values, belief in and getting close to God, the knowledge needed in order to distinguish right and wrong, establishing routines, and recognizing consequences to one’s actions. This also includes purposeful habits, little tasks, profitable concepts, and looking for ways to solve problems.
The most important thing is for parents to follow a routine of their own. Modeling is the best way for children to learn how to do things at the right time. (As the cliché goes, Action speaks louder than words.) Parents should make it a point to stick to a schedule every day. It does not have to be strictly on the dot in terms of timing. Working on chunks of time for specific tasks is a less stifling concept of scheduling.
Designating time for meals, rest, play, sleep, and studies is easy enough for kids to understand. When a child is conditioned to do things at certain times of the day, they know exactly what to expect and are able to prepare the activities in their routine by themselves. For most parents, this makes it less stressful to get the kids to do things that they are supposed to do.
Parents should remember, though, that children need some flexibility too. Being too rigid with their daily routine and punishing unduly for not being on schedule can have long-term adverse effects on the child and on his relationship with his parents.
Kindness is key when it comes to dealing with kids routines and every other aspect of disciplining and teaching them.
Establishing everyday routine for kids requires some amount of sensitivity to the needs and disposition of the kids. If a kid tends to have too much energy during bed time, it might not be a good idea to schedule nap time late in the afternoon. Likewise, if a child seems to have trouble concentrating at certain times of the day, parents should not schedule study time on these times. A child’s daily routine should serve as a guide on spending their time and not a tool to rule their lives.
Setting the Time for Everyday Routine for Children
In what ways can you set the time for everyday routine for children? Here’s some we have practiced.
For one, nap time at noon is common in many countries, if you are familiar, it is termed siesta. However, taking naps after 3 in the afternoon can affect nighttime sleep. If such bedtime routine is disrupted, the following day will definitely be affected. It’s like a ripple that continuously affects other aspects of a child’s life.
It would be nice for kids to have their own beds or bunk beds if they can’t have their own rooms. A bedtime routine of bath and overall hygiene, reading story books, then relaxing music, and prayer can help younger children feel ready for sleep. If you have older children, the routine might include a small talk about their day.
At times, there might be trouble in dreamland, and this could be difficult, sleep is important for kids as it is for adults. Try making their bedrooms conducive to cozy sleep. For one, check on mattress toppers in order to regulate body temperature, and because it’s often memory foam, the spine is well-aligned when you lie down. You can also look into an adjustable bed frame for kids who are backsleepers. An adjustable bed frame allows them to raise their head and feet slightly for a more comfortable sleeping position. It also has a lot of other benefits for adults, should you be having sleep difficulties.
Wake Up Time
Always do your bed, and remind the kids to do too. Making your bed is somewhat a sign of tidiness and organization, having less clutter leads to productivity, so it’s a good practice to start with everyday. However, don’t do it too soon, pull back the covers for at least 30 minutes and leave them out to air and cool down. This will not trap the warmth in your bed that dust mites love.
Not a breakfast person? That’s alright. We believe there shouldn’t be a set time to break one’s fast, that is the time that one starts eating for the day in relation to the last time having eaten the previous night. However, we find eggs and bacon (protein and fat) are best to have in the mornings to fuel us for half of the day.
But scones on Saturdays or Sundays are fine and yummy! Allow the kids to foray in the kitchen, either to bake or cook some. If not, to help with the preparation and cleaning up. All of these are life skills they can use later on.
Aside from daily routines, set weekly schedules or things you can do with all of the kids or with one of them, or something they can engage with by themselves. Here are some ideas.
There are many benefits to going out to the park – whether a natural park or garden or theme parks. But one best reason is to have fun and lasting memories with their siblings and you, of course. Always invest in tokens the children can put in their memory banks, for them to always remember good feelings of having you around.
Music evoke emotions, and it is important for kids to feel such. It is true that music gives kids a lot of good things, and one is a place of comfort when things go awry.
Weekly Lunch Out
Take the kids to eat out when they have free time, it doesn’t have to be lunch, brunch and afternoon snacks would do. Once in a while, we buy candies by the gram too! You can bring them individually, or all at once. If going with one, pick their favorite food and enjoy eating out with them, if going out with all, pick a cuisine they all enjoy.
Again, it doesn’t have to be somewhere far. A trip to a nearby town is good, day trips just for a change in scenery and to get away from the frenzied city life. If restrictions are still in places, libraries and bookstores where they can read endlessly are ok!
Finally, spend time being grateful to our Creator by giving him due worship. Aside from regular prayers, Sunday is best spent at God’s dwelling. You do not only have to don your best dress, but you spend your time to learn about God for the best reasons.