The start of the school year always feels like a new beginning. It is a great time to establish new healthier habits and routines. What aspects of your family’s life could use improvement? Are mornings hectic and crazy? Have you lost control of the screen or phone time? Is meal time mayhem?
Before School Routines
- Get the kids into the habit of setting their own alarm clock and making their own lunches.
- If your child has difficulty managing his/her time in the morning, you could play a series of songs to keep things moving along. For example, when the first song comes to an end, your child should be dressed. Teeth should be brushed at the chorus of the next song, and everyone needs to be out the door before the end of the last song.
- My kids also have one daily chore before school. The chores get rotated so everyone does each chore once a week (vacuum, clean bathroom, empty dishwasher). On Wednesdays they all clean their rooms, and on Fridays they gather and sort laundry. It is not much and it is never done well, but I am always amazed at how much it helps. We do our chores in the morning, but you could also do them with your afternoon or evening routines.
- For the afternoon, consider scheduling a routine for homework, snacks, cleaning out the backpack, and putting lunchboxes away. You can also consider adding a daily chore into your child’s routine, checking the family calendar for after-school activities, and having everyone drop their cell phones into a basket when they walk in the door.
- For young children you can put a check list on their bedroom door: bath, brush teeth, PJ’s, pick up room and clean out clutter bin, lay out clothes for next day, make lunch.
- Put cell phones away at a designated time. You can put parental controls on the phone so they shut off at a designated time.