Summer is fantastic. And long. And slightly frustrating. And did
we say fantastic? Truth is, most of us operate better with a little
routine, especially once you have kids. And that's what
back-to-school time is all about. That yellow bus means we rise and
shine about the same time each day, breakfast, everyone knows what
they need to wear (that doesn't mean it's always clean), where they
need to be and when.
There are lunches to pack, slips to sign and every Thursday your
kids should leave wearing tennis shoes for gym day.
Our routines are all different, but we all have them. And
studies show that as much as we may complain about them, we thrive
in their presence.
"Routines remove the need to deliberate
over what you should do when (which take time and energy), because
once you've established a routine, you've already made those
Routines can become so automatic that we
start performing them without realizing it, so we get done what
needs to get done, even when our minds are preoccupied with other
Dr. Heidi Grant Halverson
Social scientist and author of 'Succeed'
And no surprise that research shows children operate better on
routine. According to Dr. Laura Markham, clinical psychologist
turned parenting coach and author, there are six benefits that come
with using routines with your kids:
- Routines eliminate power struggles.
- They help kids cooperate.
- They help kids learn to take charge of their own
- Kids learn the concept of looking forward to things they
- Regular routines help kids get on a sleep schedule.
- And routines help parents build in those precious connection
Check here if you want to read more about Dr.
Markham's opinions and research on structure, parenting and
Funny thing is, when we look through that list of how routines
can help our kids, we realize the same things can help us. Isn't it
easier to fall asleep at night when we go to bed at the same time?
And aren't we happier, more cooperative people when we're well
rested? It's easier to exercise, walk the dog or pack lunches if
we're conditioned to do it every day at the same time in the
So will we miss longer, lazier summer
days and the ability to be spontaneous? Yes. But with the alarm
clock, homework and more regular dinner time comes the comfort of
routine. And the comfort in knowing that we all go off to do our
own thing only to come back together at the end of each day.
Something to look forward to.