This summer has been super terrible as far as structure and scheduling go for my kids. I am pretty laid back and had things more mellow. I still had them read daily, but that’s about it!
Now that school is back in session, the structure is back in full force.
What I like about structure in the household is that everyone knows what is expected of them because the rules are already laid out. As parents, our job is to enforce the rules on a daily basis. Sometimes, you’ll need to bend things around considering different circumstances that arise.
Having a structure for your kids day isn’t difficult to implement. If you have a piece of paper then write the rules down on it and stick it to the fridge where they can see them daily. It doesn’t need to be strict either, you can make it fun!
Having these rules is great for your kids, because they will appreciate you for it. Knowing what is expected of them helps them with their self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence.
Here are some things that I have implemented with my kids that you can also try with your own kids.
Having a morning routine for your kids will make things so much better for your own sanity, especially during the school year. If your kids know what is expected of them in the morning, the hope is that they will be able to get things done quickly so you can get them dropped off for school.
I’m human and I know sometimes kids move like they are a snail trekking through tar, but if you keep encouraging them they’ll get the hang of it!
- Wake up/fix bed– The first thing they should be doing when getting out of their beds is fixing it. This just helps get your day started out right.
- Brush Teeth– Some kids can do this on their own and others still need help. Either way, get it done!
- Get dressed for the day– As a mom, it helps me in the mornings when I already have my kid’s outfits set out for them the night before. All they need to do it just put their clothes on!
- Eat Breakfast– I’m pretty easy in the mornings with breakfast. Its usually either cereal or toast for the kids and that’s what they enjoy so it works for me.
- Get the school bag ready– I find that doing this the night before makes for a smooth morning.
After School Routine
When the kids get home from school, they usually want to have a snack and relax for a few minutes. My middle boy tries to over-eat so when it’s time for dinner, he isn’t hungry anymore.
- After school snack– Obviously, give your kids what they like. Things that my kids eat are apples, hard boiled eggs, bananas, or cookies. After they eat their snack, my kids know that no more eating snacks because they won’t have an appetite for dinner.
- Homework– My daughter is good about doing her homework without much help from me. My son needs help from me because he is still pretty young.
- One on one time– This is a special time you can take with each kid to talk about their day and see if they need help with anything. It doesn’t need to be long, just 15 minutes per child will do.
- Playtime– I give my kids some time before dinner to play. This can be video games, riding bikes, or whatever they find to be fun. Kids still need time to have fun and play so this is a good time for them to do what they want while I do things that I need to get done.
Dinner time is an important time for the family to sit together and talk about the day. We didn’t always do dinner around the table, but once we started doing it, we never looked back.
One of the rules we have during dinner is no electronics allowed at all. The kids are really good with sticking to that too!
There are a few things that we require the kids to do before dinner.
- Help set the table- My kids usually complain about this but they need to learn household responsibilities too so they help with this.
- Wash up and eat dinner- We eat dinner together as a family and talk about whatever we want.
- Clean up– If your kids are old enough, they can rinse off their plate and stick it in the dishwasher to help ease the load from your shoulders.
- Shower– Making the kids shower the night before school makes life easier since they wake up already clean. This cuts lots of time out in the mornings.
- Family time- Before bed, we usually will sit and watch a couple shows as a family. We let the kids pick and take turns picking something. We usually watch mini shows because there isn’t enough time to watch hours of a show.
- Get things ready- This is the time where the kids get their bags and clothes ready for the next morning so we’re not rushing the next day to get out the door. I also have them just tidy their rooms of any toys that may be thrown around.
- Bed– We currently put our kids in bed by 9 pm. Times will change as your child grows but for now 9 pm works. I feel like that time is good enough to ensure an adequate amount of sleep for them.
This basically sums up our daily routine. The lists that I made are only guidelines, you’re welcome to change yours up any which way that will benefit your family. I feel that children thrive off of structure and hope that everyone can implement this. Your children will be grateful for it and grow to be confident and responsible human beings. What else could you ask for?
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About the guest author:
Talin is the owner of Half Stay At Home Mom. She has 3 young children and has been married to her best friend for 14 years. Talin blogs about parenting, kid friendly recipes, and everything in between. Talin works as a pediatric nurse and loves her job. In her free time, Talin loves to spend time with her kids.