Setting a Routine For Your Kids – It Can Be Done… I Think! I’m going to divert off the topic of shoes for a minute, of course if you want to check out our new winter boots we won’t stop you! But today I want to talk about setting a routine for your kids.This is something I always struggled with. I don’t think it was creating one, it was more the sticking to it part that always seemed to beat me. If you struggle with setting and keeping a routine for your kids, then these tips might just help you break that cycle of always “starting”. Set a routine that is realistic. We all love to cram as much into a day as we can, but kids don’t have this concept built into them yet. Try and allow some “dither” time into your routine so you don’t get stressed when they take 10 minutes to put on their shoes! TV time. A lot of people are against screen time and I agree, to a point. A small amount of screen time isn’t bad for kids so long as they are watching the right programs. This time also give you space from your kids. They get to experience time alone and you can do some much needed chores. Keep it simple. Kids love a routine because they like to know what’s coming. The simpler your routine the easier it is for both you and them to remember it. It’s not about what’s in the routine that’s important, it just having set times and goals. Include activities they love. Kids love to look forward to things so include activities you know gets them up and about. If your child loves to paint, then that’s an easy win for you right there. Wednesday afternoons is painting day. Kill two birds with one stone. A great activity to include in your routine is a baking afternoon. This not only helps keep the cupboards stocked, but is a great teaching tool for kids… and they love it! Don’t forget the chores. It’s important that kids learn the importance of chores and helping out around the house. Including chores for the kids in your routine not only means the bins get put out when they need to (nothing worse than missing bin day!) but you get a break. Kids surprisingly love to feel needed and love to help, so play on that and give them a sense of belonging and importance. Don’t be scared to include rewards. If there’s an activity or chore that your kids don’t much like doing, then introduce a rewards system. Life is full of rewards for hard work, so this isn’t teaching them a bad lesson. Whether it be money or a fun activity like going to the movies, bringing in rewards helps your kids see that you appreciate what they are doing. Put your routine in plain sight. Having your routine where you kids can see it also helps them associate with the plan and see what is coming up next. There are great tools around that use picture magnets to set the day. This helps the younger kids as they can see a toothbrush means brush your teeth or paint brush for painting day. It may even get them to bed quicker as, just like Christmas, they are excited for the next day to come. Use triggers to remind you. Use a trigger like the end of a favourite TV program to set your next activity. I find this works well for bedtime. When Hoot goes to bed on ABC, so do the kids. They know exactly when bedtime is and I actually don’t get as much of an argument as I did before. Winner Winner right there! Setting a routine for your kids is hard work and sticking to it is even harder. As we know life loves to get in the way of our plans. But trust me, if you give it a go and stick to it for even a week or two, your kids will be telling you what’s up for the next day. Or letting you know at 7pm it’s story time before bed. Ok, back to work now!