Most parents would likely agree that their children are more productive and behave better when they are able to adhere to a specific routine. To be sure, when kids are able to follow a given schedule, they are often less prone to act out and misbehave, and more likely to stick to the task at hand, whether it is a homework problem, helping out with the dishes, or even brushing their teeth in the morning. And routines don’t necessarily have to be about chores; in fact, you can set productive routines around lunch, dinner, and bedtime that will help your children stay on track throughout the day and encourage them to get into bed at night.
Are you interested in creating routines for your little ones to keep them in line throughout the day and in the evening? If so, consider these tips on how to create kids’ lunch and dinner routines and try them as soon as you can.
Write it Down for the Kids to See
Ultimately, one of the easiest ways to help ensure that your kids will stick to a routine throughout the day is by writing it down on a list for everyone to see. Having a written list of routine actions during the day will provide your children with a mental reminder, and will help ensure that they are aware of the coming tasks.
To ensure that everyone is aware of the schedule, put it somewhere in the house that everyone frequents, such as in the kitchen or the family room. And if your children aren’t yet skilled readers, place drawings or stickers next to each activity as reminders of what is yet to come.
Stay Consistent in Your Routine
There are certain things that many parents want their children to do before and after meals and at bedtime. For example, some parents may want their kids to help set the table before lunch and dinner, and then help clear the table afterwards. Other parents may even want their little ones to help out with the dishes or put leftover food back in the refrigerator. And in regards to bedtime, nearly all parents would love if their children would brush their teeth without question and get ready for bed the first time they are asked.
But regardless of what you want your children to do during lunch, or bedtime, maintaining consistency over the course of the week is key to ensure that the day-to-day activities turn into a routine. To be sure, an activity must be performed multiple times on a set schedule to be considered a routine; simply having your children help out with the dishes or with cleaning up the play room once in awhile is not. As such, if you wish to enact a routine, make sure to set something in stone and stick to it as often as possible.
Start Simple – and Go From There
If you have little children running around the house, don’t expect the routine to stick on the very first day, especially if you have assigned them multiple tasks that are relatively complicated. In fact, if you abruptly ask your kids to wash the dishes, put away all toys in their playroom, help set the table, and then brush their teeth without help all in one day, they may break down crying from all of the new responsibilities.
Instead of throwing everything their way all at one time, start simple by adding in a single task every day, or even once every week. For example, on Monday, begin by starting a small lunchtime routine of bringing their dishes to the kitchen once they are finished and rinsing them in the sink. Once they have that sealed in their memory, whenever that may be, add in a new variable by requesting that the 30 minutes before bed be storytime or discussion with the family, a fun nighttime routine that can help keep kids calm before going to sleep. By slowly adding in these new steps in the routine you can ensure your little ones are frustrated and keep them on schedule.
Feel Free to Break the Routine – But Only On Occasion
As mentioned above, a routine works best when you stick to it as often as possible. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be law; if your child is sick or having a bad day, or if circumstances prevent you from keeping to the routine, don’t worry too much about changing responsibilities; just get back to it as soon as you can.
How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Kids
Do you want to help get your little ones on a lunch, dinner and bedtime routine this year? If so, consider these simple tips on how to create kids’ bedtime routines and help keep your little ones happy and healthy throughout the day.