With school starting last week here in Pasco County, it’s important for your child to establish routine. Not only does routine make life easier on the parents (you’ll know what time they should turn off the TV!), but it establishes good habits for your child, and improves their social and emotional wellbeing (Shrier and Neff, 2019). The summer break is known to uproot routine, and so getting back into the swing of things even prior to the first day of school is ideal. Here are some tips for settling into a consistent routine:
- Make mornings run smoother by getting morning tasks taken care of at night: pick clothes the night before, discuss with your child what they will need the next day (such as money for a book fare or a library book to return), and then make sure backpacks are packed and ready to go.
- When they return home from school, make sure they know what is expected of them. Is it homework first and then a snack? Start homework first and then chores? And make sure homework is done in the same spot each day in a quiet place free of distractions.
- Two hours before bedtime, turn off TV and all electronics. This gives kids time to unwind and lets them know that it’s about to be bedtime. Then do the bedtime routine: bath time, read, brush teeth, pick out next day’s clothes, etc.
- Set expectations with how your kids will contribute to the household. In fact, one study found that kids as young as 3 who did chores were more likely to be successful in their early 20s. While their homework may keep them plenty busy, having a routine will allow them to learn time management skills to fit in chores.
Consistency and routine will benefit not just your child but will make the home run smoother for all family members.
Shrier, C and Neff, M. (2019). Back to school, back to the routine. Retrieved from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/back_to_school_back_to_the_routine