Recipe for Routines

Recipe for Routines

Routines are the places where time crunches exist. You either need to be somewhere or you need the kids asleep at a decent hour. And for kids, time is so elusive. Even my ten year old last night said “I don’t know what 5 minutes feels like.” That is not every ten year old, but definitely some. And for kids younger than that, time doesn’t matter.

So how do you get your kids and yourself to do all the things that need to be done in the time allowed? 

1. Make a list: Write down everything that has to happen before you leave the house or before kids are asleep. Even write down the things that the kids tend to do, even if you wish they didn’t. (like jump on the bed or run back in the house for one last thing)

2. Observe: For a few days to a week, observe and write down the time it takes to do each of those things, and add to the list things you notice happening. This step of observing can help you become more relaxed about the time constraint. And it might mean that you will be late. I know its hard to be late for school, but in the end this will pay off! Tell the principle, talk to your kids teacher or anyone else that you need a little forgiveness for a week

3. Make your plan: Once you have gathered your data, you can make a plan. Working backwards from your bedtime, or school arrival time, figure out when you need to start. If your kids are older, involve them in this process. See if the start time is realistic- waking kids at 5 am to get to school at 8 seems crazy. Now comes the creative part. What can you take out, alter, or adjust so that the timing still works but both your kids and your needs are met? They may have the need to jump on the bed and you may have the need to have clean children. Maybe the kids have to decide between bed jumping and pillow fights and stuffed animal shows. Some kids need the exact same thing every night, others are more flexible. You know your kids and you know what they need.

TRUST YOURSELF! If something has to be cut form the routine- see about adding it earlier in the day.