Happy New Year! I love January! It feels like a fresh start and a great time to think about your family routine. As parents, we reflect on the previous year and think about our resolutions for the new year. In my experience as a school psychologist and former educator, I get a lot of questions from parents asking for help when their children have big emotions and, oftentimes, express themselves with their behavior. This is my nice way of describing temper tantrums and meltdowns. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. My children have temper tantrums too. I’ve learned that there are things that we can do as parents that help our children be successful and express their emotions. One way that we can help our kids is by creating a family routine.
Why create a family routine now?
With the winter break coming to an end and school starting back up, it’s a great time to reflect on your family’s daily routines. You can keep what’s working for you and ditch what’s not. From my experience, there are certain times of the year when it’s best to evaluate your current routines that you have in place. This can be done when your family experiences a major change, such as having a baby, the start of the school year, a break in the school calendar, a family member’s deployment, and/or change in family structure. If you don’t have a daily family routine in place, don’t stress. I’m here to help you create one that works for you.
Creating a family routine is important because it helps us (and our kiddos) to know what to expect and prepare for it. Also, when we have clear expectations, this provides a sense of security as we are able to predict what will happen next. For example, if I allow my kiddos to watch television some days when they get home from school and, on other days, make them do their homework first, it sends an inconsistent message to my children. Not surprisingly, this can make completing homework more of a challenge. Instead, if I were to have an after-school routine in place, it would set clear expectations for my children. This incentivizes my children to complete their homework so that they can earn the opportunity to watch a show on television.
The big take away here is that having family routines make individuals feel a sense of security and know what is expected of him or her. A huge bonus with having a routine in place is that you are able to minimize temper tantrums, meltdowns, and pouting!
Questions to Consider for Your Family Routine:
- going well for your family?
- NOT going well for your family?
- one thing that you could change that would make things easier for your family?
Tips for A Successful Family Routine:
There are several tips and tricks that I use to make coming up with a routine easier and involves the whole family. Here are some quick tips:
- Keep is simple
- Include the whole family in creating the family routine
- Post the routine in a prominent place that all family members can see
- Consider your ultimate goals when coming up with a routine
Common Family Routines:
- Morning routine
- After school/work routine
- Bedtime routine
- The weekends
“How to Talk to Your Child About…”
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