“Our home is so chaotic!” Family life is busy, there is no denying that! There are times when it seems like everyone is going in a different direction and you’re feeling stressed about a to-do list that is a mile long. If you can relate to this feeling, it may be time to figure out what’s causing some of the stress.
Does your child argue every time they need to change activities?
Are there battles every night at bedtime?
Does it feel like a rush to get out the door because your child can’t find her shoes?
One of the easier ways to reduce this type of stress is to set routines.
Now, you may be one of those spontaneous folks that I envy just a bit, and you may be thinking, "But I hate routines!" I'm going to ask you to trust me when I say your kids need some routines and how you’ll benefit as well!
1. Routines build predictability
Change can be uncomfortable and it can cause power struggles between a parent and child. In young kids, predictability helps prevent power struggles because the child knows what's expected without being pushed into it. “I have my jammies on, now I get to do storytime with Dad." When young children know what is expected of them, they have a better chance of fulfilling the expectation.
For older kids, predictability may reduce anxiety and teaches them to plan ahead (an executive function that is still in development). "Hey, I have a quiz every Friday, so I can study a little each day so I'm not cramming at midnight on Thursday." (Every parent's dream situation, right?! lol)
2. Routines build confidence and independence There are skills involved in each activity a child does. Routine allows for repetition and practice of each skill. As a child masters a new skill, he grows in confidence and independence.
3. Routines build more calm days
One of the best benefits of routines is the sense of calm it brings to a household.