1. Foster an environment for our family that is God-centered, peaceful, and joyful.
2. Develop and implement a routine for myself and our children, and support Mark in his own routine.
3. Develop local relationships!
4. Finish my associate’s degree
Today I want to chat about #2 – Routine.
I believe routine is critically important raising kids! Without a semi-predictable routine, it’s very hard for kids to feel settled. I mean, if you think about it, we have access to our calendars, we make the plans, and we know every day what is planned for the next day. For the most part, we are in charge of our lives and our kids just do whatever is on the docket for each day. When the day’s plans change frequently, or when every day is different than the one before, it is very hard for kids to feel like they have any kind of control over their lives.
When planning out a routine for children, there are a few key things that I think are important to keep in mind. First of all, the routine should be simple and age-appropriate! If I tried to get my kids to stick to a complicated routine that involved a lot of things that they can’t do yet, the routine will fail. Second, a routine should be flexible. Clinging to tight to a ridged routine will make everybody stressed and trapped. On the flip side, having a healthy structure will feel freeing (just like a good budget, but that’s another post!). Last, a routine should be easy for children to understand. The more simple the routine, the easier it will be to understand, but it can also be conveyed in ways that help kids understand (for example, with pictures instead of words for non-readers and as few words as possible).
If you’re feeling inspired to work on a routine for your children, here are some examples of some ways we’ve incorporated routines in the past.