I know my kids benefit greatly from having a little structure and routine in their days. I notice when things are too willy nilly, my boys are just off. Routines help reduce stress and anxiety for everyone as there is an expectation of what comes next. My boys really appreciate having an idea of what the plan is for the day which seems to provide them with a little sense of security.
I created this Daily Routine Chart for my boys which lists out a few tasks and expectations to help provide some structure to their day. We definitely don't have a plan every day, and our routines are not rigid in the slightest, but having this loose guideline for what needs to happen each day has proven to be very beneficial for our family.
During the school year, a little mini routine we have is when my boys get home from school, they are allowed 30 minutes of screen time while I get dinner prepped. They know this is the deal, so when they come home, they dump their shoes and backpacks in the basket, set their timer for 30 minutes, and away they go. I found that this has really helped to reduce the arguments over screen time because the expectations have been set and we have made it a part of their routine.
The benefit of a routine has also trickled into bedtime. Over time, my boys have learned to brush their teeth, change into their pjs, and pick out a book to read before bedtime without constant reminders. This also allows them to have a sense of being in charge of themselves which provides them a little boost of confidence.
As my boys get older, I have been incorporating a few new chores into their daily routines to give them some sense of responsibility. While many times it's just so much easier to complete the task myself, I have to remind myself that it is better for both them, and me, in the long run if I take the time to teach them how to do the given task themselves.
For example, my youngest boy loves to put away the groceries. He actually jumps up and down with excitement when the groceries are delivered, so it was a no-brainer to put him in charge of this task. The first few times, it took quite a bit of patience to follow him around the kitchen, directing him where to put things, but now he is able to do it on his own, and it is so helpful! I did find a red pepper in the freezer a few weeks ago, but hey, nobody is perfect!
I have created a free Kids Daily Routine download to help you implement a gentle routine into your child's days. I listed out a few sample chores, but also left plenty of space to write in your own chores to make it fit with your daily routine. Simply click on the button below to download. I hope you enjoy!
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