In the years I had two boys at home with me and a hubby at work all day I developed a few routines that I continue today. Not out of obsessive habit, but rather because they work for me, for my family. I stumbled upon them quite innocently enough and thought maybe some of you might want to hear about them, maybe they might work for you. I’ll be sharing a few this week, but I tend to group them into what I call my weekly and daily rhythms rather than calling them routines. It is great to build routines/rhythms, for more than just yourself! Keep reading to find out why!
Grocery store trip
Seemed like clockwork hubby would run out of milk on a Sunday night, so it became habit to go grocery shopping on Monday mornings. Did you know hardly anyone is in the grocery store I use on a Monday morning at 9? Seriously. The. Best. Time I found to cart two (possibly unhappy) boys through a grocery store! (And I could use the excuse that it was ‘still morning’ when they asked for candy. It’s a rule in our home – no candy before lunch is eaten.) This became part of my Monday Daily Rhythm.
I found it so helpful to take the time to review my week for several weeks in a row to see if there were routine things I was doing without realizing it. There were!
I realized I was doing the laundry twice a week, once on a Tuesday and again on a Friday. This works great for our family still today! I’m not overloaded with laundry and the family has clean clothes to wear (almost always) daily! These became part of my Tuesday and Friday Daily Rhythm.
There are, of course, things that just work their way into your life naturally, like the boys’ bathtime. When they were younger they had skin sensitivity issues, so they only had baths every few days. It was sort of routine to do it on certain nights of the week, part of that daily rhythm. However, baths aren’t just for bedtime!
Just because one thing is part of another person’s daily rhythm every day or at a certain time, doesn’t mean you have to do that, too!
I realized when reviewing a few weeks, that in our home bath time would calm my boys down in the middle of the day much better than at night!
It is very easy to get caught up in what we think we should do and try to make our days align with others’. That isn’t always healthy for our family, even if it is for theirs.
I remember when my boys were little I felt like I needed to stay home with them in the afternoons because that’s when most children take a nap. It didn’t matter that my kiddos napped very close to lunchtime, we still stayed home all afternoon most days. Pretty silly, right? It was such a clear example of how everyone’s daily rhythm is different!
These are just a few examples of activities that can be part of a daily or weekly rhythm.
Why a Daily Rhythm?
Just like in my post yesterday, where I shared our daily rhythm/week chart, I’m encouraging you to figure out how you and your family work best. This will help your children (and you) to know what to expect throughout the day and the week. (You can also check out a previous post I wrote here about the same topic.)
I have seen time and again how knowing what to expect can help relieve a child’s anxiety, thus changing their behavior for the better. My own children became more relaxed, more confident, less apprehensive when we introduced the idea of ‘letting them in’ on the plans for the day. (Of course, this isn’t to say it’s a cure-all end-all for every child.)
A friend of mine has a three year old who is very clingy, very negative, apprehensive and hard to talk with. Her mom told me once that on the days they discuss what is going to happen throughout the day, her daughter is so much more relaxed, more willing to listen, excited about the day, not apprehensive about it.
I think these are great examples of how having a daily rhythm can help both you and your children!
Print out this simple Daily time tracker sheet and write what you do each day for a week. When the week is over, review what you did and when you did it.
Look for any activities you do regularly or at about the same time each day and make a mental note of these.
Now, do this for one more week. Review both weeks and see if you notice any rhythms to your days, to your weeks. See if you can put together a visual of these activities and create a daily rhythm or weekly rhythm chart for your family!
I’d love to hear if you tried this and how it’s helping or if you already do something similar!