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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Routine isn't always bad

Do you have times of your day that seem out of control?  For some it's mornings, for others it's after-school time, and yet other families seem to have melt-downs right when mom is trying valiantly to fix dinner. 

If you've got a problem time during the day, consider establishing a routine just for that time.

For years, mornings were a disaster for me. I tried every trick I knew to make them smooth and stress-free.  But it never worked.  No matter how I bribed my children to eat quickly, they dilly-dallied and then disappeared just when it was time to walk out the door.  

There were two problems:  1)  Every morning was different and 2) the television was on.

I established a strict routine - with NO TV - that went something like this:

7:00  Wake up, shower and dress
7:30  Breakfast
8:00  Clean up kitchen,and gather homework, band instruments and miscellaneous supplies
8:20  Leave for school

Simple and effective.   We didn't deviate unless there was a special reason, like a conference, and my mornings went from harried to happy.  We talked together more, and somehow had time to get everything done. 

Here's what your routine might look like if you suffer from mealtime melt-downs:

4:00   Light snack  (5 carrot sticks, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup yogurt, cheese stick)
4:30   Read a book  (independent or with Mom)
5:00   Children have a quiet project (coloring, craft, watch a DVD)
5:00   Mom preps for dinner
5:30   Children set table.
5:40   Children sent to do a small chore away from kitchen while Mom finishes with one helper. 
6:00   Dinner is served.

Of course, I completely made that up.  It would all change based on the ages of your children.  I just created it to show you an example.  Write down what might work for you and post it on the fridge. Modify if it's not quite right and try again.

I know routine seems constricting to some, but I find it refreshing in certain instances.  So if you've got a problem time during the day, try establishing a routine.  Let me know if it helps.

In Him,


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post, Glynnis. I popped over here from P31's devotional page.

    I have been struggling with some new-ness in our mornings, and reading your post has inspired me to re-evaluate our morning routine. It needs a little tightening up around the edges. I know it will certainly increase my patience & peace with getting me & five kids out the door in the mornings!

    ~Alicia Starr, Gastonia, NC