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4 ways having a routine contributes to a happy, healthy family
As someone who is not naturally organized, I’ve worked hard to understand the importance of being organized and having routines or schedules. Learning to juggle my family’s many plans has helped me embrace the need for routines. I’ve even found routines help our family be less stressed. If there’s one thing I need less of, it’s stress. Can you relate?
Through trial and error, I realized that routines provide a structured framework for my family (even for someone not naturally organized). The habits and plans you create for your family should be based on what works best for you. As a result, your routines will look different from other families, and that’s perfectly normal.
Here are a few ways routines contributes to a happier, healthier family:
1. Provide a flow for the day.
Your children learn what’s coming next. They begin to look forward to activities such as helping with dinner, storytime, or quiet time.
2. Create space for intentional family time.
You may have movie night or family game night. One night of the week becomes breakfast for dinner night.
3. Foster brain development in your children.
Children can recognize signals for what’s happening next. When the lights are turned low, your child sees that the bedtime routine is beginning. When you walk to the bookshelf, they recognize storytime is starting, and they go to your “reading chair.”
4. Promote social and emotional development in kids.
Children learn how to clothe themselves, brush their teeth, and clean up after themselves once routines are established. (Hello, independence!)
Having a routine doesn’t mean you need to fill all the time slots or that you’ll be the most organized family on the block. The intent is to provide a framework that allows your family to be healthy and happy, and to prioritize what you value.
setting boundaries with adult children
The majority of today’s parents seem to struggle with letting their kids experience the ups and downs of self-sufficiency. Are parents too quick to come to the rescue? Are we too accessible today?
Allison Bottke’s challenges with her own adult son led her to write Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children. After years of being her son’s failsafe, she realized she was not helping him.“I looked at what was happening around me and came to the conclusion this really isn’t about my son, it’s about me,” says Bottke. “Instead of focusing on what I thought he needed to do, I really needed to focus on changes I needed to make. The steps I came up with led to the acronym – SANITY, which I had a lot more of when I implemented the steps.”
Here’s what SANITY means:
- Stop: We need to change how we respond to our kids. Don’t try to change them. Stop the money flow. End our own negative behavior. “For so long we were in the midst of drama, chaos and crisis,” Bottke says. “I had to stop letting my son push my buttons and I needed to stop accepting the consequences for his behavior.”
- Assemble supportive people: Find other people who are experiencing this or who have adult children and have already been down this road. Enlist their support. It is powerful to know you are not the only one.
- Nip excuses in the bud: It is easy to let excuses coax you into doing things you would not typically do.
- Implement rules and boundaries: Make a plan, implement it and stick to it. Meet with your young adult and share the plan
- Trust your instincts: If your gut or your intuition is telling you something isn’t right or you shouldn’t be doing this – trust your gut. “For me this meant getting in touch with my own life and fixing the messy person in my life – me,” Bottke says.
- Yield everything: There is a plan for your child’s life and you do not control it. Swooping in and trying to fix it hinders their ability to learn and grow. Love them and support them, but don’t enable them.