Written by Kent Elliot
Kent Elliot is a retired architect with a passion for dogs, DIY, and universal design. You can learn more about Kent on his website At Home Aging – https://athomeaging.info
Life has a way of throwing a wrench into your family’s routines. One such road bump is the pandemic, which forced parents to work from home and kids to learn long distance. Then there are breaks from school, causing kids to break from their regular schedules. With most everyone spending an exorbitant time at home, broken routines can cause additional stress to any family. Take heart, however, it’s possible to minimize that stress by either re-establishing routines or creating new ones with these tips courtesy of The Will to Heal Project.
Do What You Can at Night
Set out tomorrow’s clothes and get everyone’s things together to avoid the morning scramble. Better yet, have your children select their own clothes and gather their own belongings. Not only will it leave you more time to prepare for your day, but, according to Parents magazine, it will also teach the kids to make choices for themselves and be responsible for their things.
Make your morning easier by creating a to-do list the night before. It’s better to start the day with a plan than to wing it. Prepare food for tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch so you don’t have to spend all morning in the kitchen. Breakfast staples like egg muffins or overnight oats can easily be made ahead of time.
Getting Ready in the Morning
While adults need coffee to get the day started, kids need breakfast and juice. Feeding them first thing in the morning can help them get moving and motivated. As much as everyone loves a hot breakfast, a cold breakfast requires less cleanup and shorter prep time. Consider serving low-sugar cereal and fruit instead of pancakes and eggs. Green smoothies are a great option for a nutritious breakfast on the go, and the vegetables add a healthy touch. The sweetness from the fruit will disguise the vegetables so that the kids will think they’re drinking a dessert shake.
The big hurdle in the morning is getting everything together for the day, but you can lessen the time spent looking for things by using a smartwatch to keep everyone on track. These devices feature alerts, timers, and time-management apps to help you stay organized. You can also use a smartwatch to keep up with your fitness goals, but you’ll want to purchase a screen protector and durable band for your device.
Reorganizing More Than the Schedule
Along with reorganizing your schedule, consider physically reorganizing your home. Start with decluttering in all the living areas, including the kids’ rooms, kitchen and bathrooms. When following the axiom “Everything in its place,” you may be surprised by the difference it makes when establishing order via following routines.
Parent Hacks suggests getting everyone accustomed to using alarm clocks. Always give your family a 30-minute buffer to get anywhere on time. If you must be on the road by 10 a.m., tell them that they must be ready to leave at 9:30. Since kids tend to lag, that means they’ll be ready closer to 9:45. After putting on shoes and coats, locking up the house, and piling into the car, you’re looking at a 10 a.m. departure. A half-hour head start gives the kids time to get out of the house while sparing you the stress from running late. As you train your family to adopt solid routines, think about how you can incorporate these practices long term. It might feel like all of your time is spent getting your kids to do this or that, but children are great at adapting to routines if you have the patience to guide them through it. The payoff is worth the effort.