Putting a structured family routine in place might be something to consider for the benefit of your family this year. While you can't guarantee a routine will eliminate hectic moments and tears or tantrums, routines can go a long way in fostering a calm, healthy environment.
While a family routine can have some repetitive elements, it doesn't have to simply detail when the kids are to wake up, what chores they have and their bedtimes, it can also relate to you and your partner to ensure everyone is staying on top of all their family and individual commitments.
Here are some tips on how to implement a new routine, and why doing so might help your family.
Routines can also help your children get into good habits and promote good health. Setting waking and bedtime times, for example, can help to promote better sleeping patterns which helps little bodies to rest and restore. It also goes a long way in helping parents to stay at their healthy best. In addition, setting aside a specific time to grocery shop for essential vitamins and minerals is just as important as ensuring they’re eaten come dinner time. Planning out meals for the whole family can seem hard at first, but once you’ve established a routine it may become an easier task with everything planned out in advance.
Try to eat dinners together each night, away from the television or other digital distractions so you talk to one another. This encourages healthy habits and will add to the quality time you spend together.
When first introducing a new plan or routine, make sure you explain it to the kids. Perhaps write the times and activities on a whiteboard - even if they can't read quite yet, it might be helpful to remind you. You could also use pictures representing the activity or get the kids involved by taking a photo of them participating in the activities.
It’s also important to ensure everyone (parents included) are on the same page and can share in and support the routine. After time, it will simply become a part of family life that will help to ensure everyone gets the support they need to be at their best. Remember, it's not the end of the world if you need to throw the routine out every now and again - sometimes the best laid plans go to waste but a solid routine will help minimize the stress of home life.