With all the festivities over, it’s time to settle back into reality. For many people, this means going back to work or getting everything ready for the kids to start (or get back to) school. Getting back into a routine or even trying to create one, can be quite a challenge. Especially when it comes to the little ones.
Some of the things we do to establish routines
This week, our oldest starts kindergarten (or “big school” as she calls it). Of course, this means that there are quite a few changes involved. So I thought I would share a few tips for getting back into, or creating, a new routine. These tips are applicable to the whole family.
1. Getting back into a healthy sleep routine
If you or your children have been enjoying later or long sleeping hours, it’s best to start gradually regulating that. If our girls have gotten used to later bedtime, we gradually start adjusting the time by 15 minutes earlier every day or second day (depending on our time frame). Always consider the optimal amount of sleep required according to age. Here is a table for reference:
2. The build-up
Whether it be for yourself or your children, building up the excitement can really boost enthusiasm for the coming year. With the start of “big school” looming, we have been talking to our daughter about it almost every day. By focusing on all the positive points, she has been so excited to start her new adventure. Granted, she only three (not much enthusiasm boosting needed) but it works for us too. By finding all the positive points before I start something new, I build excitement to get started. *Side Note: It’s a great way to prepare little ones for any changes that may be happening in their lives. A new home, new sibling, etc. Talking to them about these changes give us the opportunity to address any anxieties that they may have.*
3. Do your morning prep the night before
Save yourself the stress and rush by getting everything ready the night before. This has become part of my regular evening routine. Once the girls have gone to bed, I get their clothes ready for the next day and make sure bags are packed with anything they may need. By doing this, your entire routine in the morning runs much smoother.
4. Rewards work wonders
If you struggle to get your kids going in the morning, try offering a reward system. And yes, a reward system can work for yourself and/or your kids. A special treat at the end of the day or week provides all the encouragement needed to get things done (it’s not called bribery, it’s called constructive parenting). Luckily our kids still get excited about getting a sticker on their reward chart, even without a particular prize in sight.
My final tip is K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). For some reason, people always feel the need to blow the simplest things out of proportion. These days we tend to stress because we have nothing to stress about. When getting back into (or creating) a routine, just keep it simple. Make sure the most important things are done and you’re good to go. The most important things to focus on:
- Get dressed
- Brush teeth
- Brush hair
- Have breakfast and grab lunch/snacks
And that’s it. Not funny extreme measures to be taken, no stress needed. There’s one more thing that we like to do when there are big changes made and that’s to talk to our girls at the end of the day. We especially do this with the oldest one (since the youngest is still finding her words). It gives us the chance to see how she’s adjusting and if there’s anything we need to pay attention to.