Are Routines at Home Really Necessary?

May 31, 2021

We all know how children seem to "behave better" when they are at school or child care. Why is this and how can we replicate it at home? In my experience there are usually two reasons.

One, children feel safe at home to test the boundaries and know that no matter what, Mom or Dad will always be there even when they are impatient, exhausted and overwhelmed. So well done parent, you have created a safe environment for your child to try different behaviours, resistance included. 

The second reason we see behaviours decrease outside the home is routines. School and child care have a set routine that children know and expect each day (Morning snack, bathroom, together time, outside, lunch, etc.) and even have routines within those routines (Wash hands, eat, put dishes away, wash hands). These routines provide a sense of security to children to know what comes next and what is expected. They also allow teachers and educators to know what comes next and hold the boundaries around the routine. 

Am I suggesting that home life needs to have a routine as firm and strict as school or child care? Absolutely not. However, creating a consistent routine at home will allow your children to know what comes next, be clear on your expectations, and understand what the boundaries are throughout the day. 

So how do you create a routine that will work best for your family? 

1. Write out your daily routine as it is now. Take a week and pay attention to what part of your day feels more chaotic than others. What is going on at that time of day and is there already a routine in place? (For example, bedtime routine is always a chaotic battle.)

2. Write down how you would like this part of the day to look. Decide what changes you need in your routine to make this part of your day go smoothly. (For example, I would like bedtime to take 20 minutes from start to finish.)

3. Decide what boundaries need to be held around this routine. Have a family meeting and work together to come up with what boundaries will be held to ensure this routine is successful and ensure each family member is on the same page. (For example, I will set a timer, extra time means possibility of another story or cuddling.)

I help committed parents of children age 1 to 10 move from questioning their parenting to being the confident parent they are meant to be. I do this through 1:1 coaching sessions and a G.R.E.A.T. Parenting Membership.

If you are struggling to create a routine in your home and hold the boundaries to make it successful, click HERE to book a FREE discovery call with me and see how the G.R.E.A.T. Parenting Journey can help you!

You got this!