How Can Creating a Routine and Schedule Help Your Kids?
Routines and schedules can help our kids and our entire family units function in a healthy way. When we create schedules, like menu plans and family nights, we can help ensure that important things are not being neglected. As we work on scheduling regular activities, like meals and time together, we help to build routines that can create order in our lives. Kids suffering from problematic behaviors, like addiction, depression, anxiety, attention-seeking, or other issues, may benefit from having a predictable life within the home. When we have a troubled family member, we may feel overwhelmed due to the chaotic nature of their behaviors. By being proactive and planning for daily activities, we can alleviate some of the chaos and bring order into our lives.
Predictability and Security
When kids do not have any idea what their day is going to look like or what is expected of them, they may feel anxious and insecure. If every day within the home is inconsistent in terms of mealtimes, bedtimes, chores, or other activities, kids may not be able to adjust to a lifestyle of unpredictability. Routines help us know what we can expect daily. We know what to expect from our home lives and can feel relaxed when at home. When kids do not feel relaxed in their homes due to an unpredictable schedule, they may not have a sanctuary from stress in their lives outside of the home. When kids are struggling with emotional issues or dealing with other problems outside of the house, they can handle these issues more easily knowing that they have a secure home life to fall back on.
How we experience life inside the home also influences our feelings about the world. When our home lives feel chaotic and we have no refuge, we may begin to see the world as a frightening, confusing place. We may feel that there is no haven available to us. We may be constantly experiencing feelings of stress when we do not have a safe place to return to when out. When we are constantly feeling stressed out, we start to normalize these feelings. When kids grow up feeling this way, they may believe this is how the world works and that this is the experience of everyone. Therefore, if they develop emotional issues or problems related to stress, they may not even realize they have an issue if they have no safe and secure feelings to compare their feelings!
Developing Healthy Habits
By scheduling meals, we can plan so that we are not hastily putting fast meals together with pre packaged products or buying fast foods. We can plan our grocery trips to ensure that we have plenty of healthy foods in the home to help our kids develop good nutritional habits. When kids are dealing with problematic behaviors, healthy meals can help them regulate their emotions and ensure that they are not deficient in vitamins that can affect their mental health. By scheduling meal times, kids can know when they will be able to spend time with their families and can feel supported during those times. Shared mealtimes with the entire family can also help parents ensure that they are spending time with everyone in the home.
Family Time and Scheduling Fun
We can get out ahead of potential behavioral issues by scheduling time to spend with our family members. We have to also set aside special time to spend with our partner to continue nurturing this relationship, otherwise we may neglect our partner when dealing with our kids. By scheduling fun activities for the family, we can help to steer our kids from feeling bored and turning to unhealthy means of entertaining themselves. When spending time with the family, we can set up some guidelines, like no devices or phones, to ensure that we are focused on each other and not distracted by other things. We might plan outings with the family, like picnics or bowling. We can also plan game nights or camping trips. This can help our kids learn to look forward to future activities and help them when they are struggling by reminding them of fun things coming up.
One final important consideration: remember to also schedule some time for ourselves. We need to take care of our own emotional health to be strong for our partners and our families. Taking time for ourselves to focus on healthy activities or hobbies can also set an example for our kids to learn self-care.
Fire Mountain is here to help both kids and parents, who are struggling with building healthy homes. Routines and schedules can minimize some of the chaos of our daily lives. When we know what to expect at home, we can feel some relief from other stressors that occur in our lives. Establishing routines can take consistency and hard work, however, once routines are established, they are easier to stick to. Remember to schedule some time for your family to have fun each week. Also, keep in mind that we as parents might lose ourselves when struggling to maintain a troubled household. We might lose sight of our own emotional issues. We may feel that we need to put our family first and not be a burden, however, we need to take care of ourselves to be strong for others. Fire Mountain can help you and your family.
Call us today at (303) 443-3343.