Well sadly it’s nearly time for the kids to go back to school. We say sadly, but secretly for some of us it can almost be a relief to get those little and not so little darlings back into some sort of routine.
It may sound a boring thing to say, but routines are good and now is just the right time to be thinking about some back to school routines.
When you observe your “organised friends” the thing you will notice is they all have adopted some set routines. Now a good routine does not equal inflexibility but it does mean there is some consistency.
The thing about routines is that they save time. Things happen automatically and certainly with kids it can save endless nagging.
A new term a new start
The kids going back to school is a really good time to start thinking about introducing some new back to school routines not just for the children but for mums too.
Routines can be something as simple as cleaning your teeth before going to bed or something more challenging like getting to the gym.
So it might be a good idea to give some thought to what subtle changes you might be able to introduce to make life run a little smoother.
So how can you go about adopting new back to school routines and drag the family along with you in this quest?
Planning & preparation
Well like most things in life you need to start by doing a bit of planning and preparation. (Actually a great routine to get into the habit of doing). So adopt a business hat and imagine you are running a small company. After all running a home and family has many things in common with running a business.
Think about the things that go right and where can you make improvements
Grab a note-book and brainstorm what are the most stressful times during your day. For most people the common areas are bedtimes, mealtimes and getting out of the house in the morning.
Generally time is the common denominator and all can lead to particular times of the day being more challenging than the probably need to be.
Take one area which you want to improve at a time. Let’s use kid’s bedtimes as an example.
What are you aiming to achieve
Firstly examine what you are looking to achieve. Then consider the trigger points when time runs away or tempers get frayed. Ask yourself what you can do differently to make bedtimes less stressful and what are the trigger points.
- It maybe that you switch bath times, to a shower
- A set time for television and homework
- Watch less telly, don’t look at your phone or social media accounts
- Leave the clearing up until the kids are in bed.
- Have dinner earlier or later
- Have a weekly plan for dinner
- Don’t take phone calls or log on to the computer.
- Enlist the help of others in the house
- Get ready bed yourself or at least change into your “comfies”
Realistically you will probably have to think outside the box and make some difficult compromises.
Write all your ideas down. I promise you will find that more ideas and solutions will come to you as you embark on this exercise.
Take action with your ideas
Once you have given some logical and careful thought to how you can improve your current routine – or habit. Make the changes and try to be consistent and refine your new back to school routines to help them work even better.
Routines are really just habits
If you or other family members are struggling with making changes, one other thing to remember, is that all routines are really just habits and it will take time for everyone to get used to them.
So if you want to change a routine or bad habit then you may need to look why it has developed in the first place.
Think about it. If like many mums you are trying to make a real effort to get the family to eat more healthily or watch less television, before you try to change the behaviour you need to change the routines which sits behind the behaviour. Then a good habit or routine will follow more easily.
Make back to school routine easier
Spending time examining the behaviour behind a habit or an ineffective routine is likely to result in much more long-term success.
For example: if you want the children to eat more healthily, then you need to make sure that there is a good range of healthy food in the house. This means in turn you need to do a healthy shop and work out some healthy recipes.
So seize the next week and adopt some new routines to help you and the kids when they go back to school. Good luck and have fun with this.