I am a huge fan of routine, and always have been. Now that I have to run my family’s routine, I see the importance of a family routine and the benefits of having one. This doesn’t mean that I have a rigid army-style routine, but I do like to stick to the routine that we do have.
There are many benefits to having a family routine or schedule. This is not only true for families with school going age children, but for babies as well. Although that’s probably a whole different post. I personally need routine in my daily life to help me manage my anxiety issues as well, but there are huge benefits to a family routine, whatever it might be.
What our School-Time Routine Looks Like:
In The Mornings
My husband gets up early for work and usually leaves the house by 06.00am. I will have made him a pack-up lunch the night before and left it in the fridge, but he gets his own bag together in the morning.
My alarm goes off at about 06.00ish, and then I get up and feed the cat, make some coffee, and then have a shower.
I start to wake the girls up by 06.30. The eldest is a real morning person and likes to get up, get dressed and get going. I have no idea where she gets it from because I’m a lot more like my younger daughter who takes ages to wake up, and please don’t talk to me for the first hour of the day if possible!
They have breakfast of toast or cereal and fruit whilst watching kids TV. It’s a slow process, the eating whilst watching TV, but it works for us.
We start getting dressed for school at about 07.10. If we are walking to school that day, then we leave the house by 07.50. If we are driving we only have to leave bt 08.10.
During The Day
I get home from the school drop off by about 09.00 and then put some laundry on, do a bit of tidying etc, and then sit down to get some work done. I always make sure I do the grocery shopping etc whilst the girls are at school, because detest having to take them with me. The same goes for most of the other errands that need to be done.
When they girls get home from school I usually give them a light snack and let them decompress a bit. They choose to play in their room with their Legos or do some colouring etc.
Whilst they do this, I check their school bags for any homework or notes from the school. Homework time is around 16.30. I get them to do it before I have to get dinner on because then I am distracted.
Daddy gets home around 17.30, and, (because he is a snacker!!!) I try to make sure that dinner is ready as soon as he gets home so that he eats a proper meal before he stuffs himself with unhealthy snacks.
We always sit down as a family for our evening meal. We pray, and then eat. Once the meal is done everyone chips in to help my tidy up etc. After that they all usually go outside and play around a bit – weather depending. Sometimes we go for a family walk too, just to get out the house together.
Bathtime is around 19.00. This quite often includes some yelling from me, some fighting from them, and a lot of water on the floor!
After bathtime we sit together as a family and watch a bit of TV. The girls go to bed by 20.00.
When they are in bed my husband and I try to catch up on any family admin issues that need our combined attention. We don’t like to do anything like that when the girls are awake. Then I get my laptop out and carry on with whatever work I might have on, or catch up on my blogging whilst he watches a bit of TV.
This is us, we have a family routine.
Our Holiday Routine Is A Bit Different.
During the holidays everything is a bit slower. We get up later and we go to bed later.
I do still stick to set meal times, as this helps to keep them fed properly with less snacking during the day. I don’t know about your kids, but mine seem to require a lot more feeding during the holidays than they do during term time!
Quite often I will allow them to bath in the mornings instead of in the evenings too.
7 Reasons Why Routine Is Important For A Family?
Here are the reasons why I believe that a family routine is important for my family?
- It creates structure to our day-to-day lives.
- Everyone knows what they should be doing and when. This reduces the need for yelling!!
- It sets boundaries, everyone knows what is expected of them and when.
- Routine teaches the children good habits.
- It creates order and reduces stress and anxiety, not just for me but for everyone.
- Having a good routine can help to make the best use of your time: family time, me time, homework time, eating time. All of the time.
- It creates a sense of security for the children.
How To Get A Family Routine Back On Track For School
- Start waking up earlier. Set your alarm clock if you have to. I know this is hard, I hate mornings, but it will help everyone involved and be less of a shock on the first day of school.
- Get dressed every day. I know this sounds obvious but so many of us lounge around in our PJs late into the morning, the kids too. By getting everyone to get dressed at the normal time of day, it will help when the kids have to get dressed into their school uniforms. Trust me … screaming at them to get dressed doesn’t make it happen any quicker and can often make the school drop off miserable – no one needs that.
- Bathtime before bed. Sometimes in the holidays I let the girls skip their evening bath and instead they bath or shower in the mornings. By getting them to bath every evening it helps their bodies learn that it’s time to start relaxing (yes, in spite of the screaming and crying that can often accompany bathtime) and to prepare for bedtime.
- By getting up earlier, the kids will be tired earlier (well, that’s the theory), and go to bed on time. A good night’s sleep is so important for everyone.
- Get the meal times back on track, especially if your holidays meal times have morphed into two larger meals a day or just one continual snack fest!!
I’d love to hear from you about whether you have a family routine in place? How does your holiday routine differ from your school time routine? Please let me know in the comments? And don’t forget to Pin this post so you can refer back to it.