Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to School, Back to Routine

By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy

Maybe your children are already back to school, or they will be heading back in a couple of weeks. It can be a happy and exciting time, but also a stressful time for both children and parents. Even though my daughter is only going to pre-school, I have to get us back into a school routine to make sure she gets everything done prior to leaving for school and is happy when we get there. The summer time really got us off our regular routine so it is time to hop back on board the school routine train!

Routine is Important for Any Age

No matter what age your children are, developing a daily routine can help keep their life organized and help eliminate chaos from yours. Children like routines that are predictable, regular and consistent. And since young children don’t understand time in minutes and hours, it is better to have a routine in place so they understand what event happens next.

Routines can also help children during difficult times of the day like when they first wake up in the morning, nap time, or bedtime. When children know what to expect when they wake up, there will be less arguments and they will learn to complete tasks before they can start other plans for the day.
And same with nap time and bedtime. By doing the bedtime routine prior to sleeping, they will feel more comfortable and prepared to calm their bodies and mind for sleep.


Implement a Routine

It is never too late to implement a routine, especially if a big life event is about to happen for the child – like going to school. No matter if this is your child’s first year going or their 12th, going from summer time to school time can be a hard transition. Implement a routine that you can keep on track with year-round (this is where I need to improve). Here are some easy routines that children can follow every day, regardless if they are going to school or not, to help with their day.
  • When your child wakes up in the morning, make it a routine to go to the bathroom first and use the toilet. Wash their hands next and brush their teeth while they are still at the sink. When they are finished with their teeth, have them move on to face washing and brushing their hair.
  • Don’t let them hangout all morning in their pajamas. After they are finished in the bathroom, have them change into their clothes for the day. When you get them changing out of their pajamas and into other clothes, it is a trigger action to confirm that their day is starting.
  • Many children wake up very hungry. 8-10 hours of sleep is a long time without eating for anyone, especially a young child. Have them eat a nutritious breakfast right after the bathroom routine.
  • At this point, children might be ready to be on their way to school. If your child is still in pre-school or a half day school program and starts in the afternoon, now might be a good time to encourage free play or do something fun together.
  • When your child gets home from school, have a routine in place to make the transition from school environment to home environment easier. If that means putting their backpacks in a certain place and going over paperwork together on the couch then do that. Maybe it is finding a healthy snack and going on a walk outside together. Whatever it is, ease the transition because school can be very stressful for children of any age.
  • And finally, the bedtime routine, which can be the hardest of all. Children are busy little people. Getting them to calm down and relax their mind and bodies after a long day can be so hard. Start bath time at the same time every evening. After the bath is over, implement a routine: pajamas, teeth, book, then bed for example. Or if your children are movers like mine, bed time yoga is fabulous! You could also go over what will happen tomorrow in your routine so that your child knows what the plan is. 
I hope that this school year is wonderful for your children and you, the parent. This time goes so fast so it is important that we make the best of it!

What are your daily routines like when your children go to school? At what age did you start a routine? How much does your routine change from school to summer time?

About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master for Choosy Kids and owner of The Choosy Mommy. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy, and son Cam, who is learning new things everyday. Click here to learn more about Christine.

20 comments :

  1. You are so right. Routines are so important to kids. It can be hard to get into a routine, but it's worth it!

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  2. Its important to set routines, they help us know where we are going and what we are doing at a specific time. Great specially for children. we have an extra 2 weeks thank God!

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  3. Routines are so important. We've been having trouble sticking to one during this first week of school, but we're working on it!

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  4. Kids live by routines and it's definitely what they need when school starts. These are helpful pointers, it's really important to start from the bedtime up to the moment they go home from school.

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  5. I don't have kids, but I am a proud aunt so I know all about the routines of my nieces and nephew. I try to stick to it as best I can, but sometimes an aunt needs to break the rules.

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  6. I am currently revising our morning routine to make things go smoother. School mornings can get rough for us!

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  7. I am currently revising our morning routine to make things go smoother. School mornings can get rough for us!

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  8. I'm glad it's not as light out at 8 like it has been. Getting them back into a routine is hard enough without it looking like daytime. Great ideas.

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  9. Routines are so important!!! So far my daughter is all about routine! Keeping my fingers crossed this sticks!

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  10. Oh, I am so thankful that my son is not having a hard time going back to school.

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  11. I am glad that my son is not yet in school. This is a very nice post.

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  12. I'm glad I don't have trouble with my daughter going back to school. She knows her routine and even make notes on what to do ahead of time. Great read! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I think routine is really important. I can't imagine my son when he go to school by next year.

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  15. I started the routine for my son when he was 4 years old and that time he was ready to go on school.

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  16. we are working on a bedtime routine with my little guy. it is certainly challenging trying to stick to it!

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  17. Kids thrive on routines, that's for sure! It's structure that makes them feel secure.

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  18. My daughter is only 1, so we're not quite ready for school but we have gotten a routine bed time down and she willingly goes. It's been amazing!

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  19. Good read! I agree routine is very important and thanks for sharing.

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