Routines help manage time, and they build character and confidence in children and young adults. Daily routines help your child understand the importance of time management. Children function best when routines are consistent, but not too regimented and rigid. Here are some ways to introduce some routines into every part of the day.
Morning Routines Mornings have a tendency to be hectic and frantic if not well organized. We have all been there – one hundred things to do, with an ever-shrinking window of time in which to do them. During the weekdays, children should wake up at a predetermined time. This time should allow for all the things that need to be done before heading off to school, such as getting dressed, eating breakfast, packing lunches and gathering school supplies.
After School When children get home from school and their other extracurricular activities, this is the perfect time to relax, have a snack and perhaps squeeze in some play-time before homework and dinnertime. After-school time should be structured in a way that gives children some time to decompress and get some fun in before hitting the books. Your child has been hard at work at school all day and could use some freedom. The amount of homework your child has should determine the length of time he or she has for relaxing. If your child is in Kumon, make sure to include Kumon assignments in the evening schedule. After your child has had a chance to unwind, study time should be scheduled for the same period each night.
Dinnertime It is widely understood that dinner should be held at the same time each night. Children who eat evening meals with the family regularly show improvement in many areas. Dinner conversation improves vocabulary and social skills in young children and gives the whole family a chance to share the news of the day. The act of coming together as a family each night also fosters a healthy respect for the family unit that your children will carry on for years to come.
Bedtime Getting ready for the next day before bed can help calm the occasional panic-filled mornings. Setting out outfits to wear and packing up school supplies the night before can help shave valuable minutes off the morning rush. If possible, deciding on what to pack for lunch the next day will also help manageability.
Consistent routines will increase performance in school, ease anxiety and set limits and boundaries for children and young teens. A little planning will go a long way. Building successful routines will help create a foundation for success every day.