Into a Routine?

So, the excitement of the first week is over. You know who the teachers are; your child seems reasonably happy. Here are a few hints to build a routine that will help to maintain everyone's equilibrium when things hit a snag.

1. Have a place for backpacks that is visible and accessible, and make sure everyone keeps them there. Open the pack and pull out all notices and put them in a basket. Likewise, take out the lunch containers and empty them right away.

2. Read the notices and immediately sign, or count out the money needed, or write the cheques. Put these in a plastic baggie, and put back in the backpack or leave in the basket if more thought is needed.

3. Make lunches right after dinner. Put in fridge, ready to take out and put in backpacks in the morning. (My husband did this job, for which I am eternally grateful. My kids learned to love tuna sandwiches!)

4. Create a reasonable time for quiet free time. Perhaps, this can be reading time, working on a puzzle, playing lego, talking with each other, or listening to music, or making music. As demands of homework might increase, this can be homework time and if there is no homework, the quiet free time builds in a habit of entertaining yourself, without technology. (20-30+ minutes)

5. Have dinner together, as often as possible. I know, there are evening activities to get your kids to, but a family dinner is so important. I have a friend who often scheduled a family breakfast at an ungodly hour, just because it was important that they all eat together. Talk. Listen. Laugh.

6. Everyone has some chore to make cleaning up the dinner, getting backpacks ready for school, or a household routine. This can be as little as picking up 3 things and putting them away, straightening the shoes, organizing the above-mentioned notice basket, loading the dishwasher, wiping the table, getting out the lunch containers, or sweeping the floor.

By building family bonds through routines, you can face any other problem. And, you will notice when your children are worried, or showing signs of a struggle.

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