Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Calming the Chaos in Your House

Does the atmosphere in your house sometimes feel like a scene from a reality show? Are the kids fighting, the television blaring, toys everywhere and dinner is late - with you about to blow your stack – again?

My hubby and I were blessed and challenged by having three kids in four years! Just about every time we went out in public when they were young, strangers would look at us sympathetically and say, "You sure have your hands full!"

The evening hours were particularly challenging when they were young, but we discovered the kids settled down beautifully with a bedtime routine and special evening rituals. The evening usually went something like this – supper, play time, bath, brush teeth, quick prayers, potty break, and then lots of cuddles and reading in bed. Once we got the bath started, it was usually smooth sailing because the kids knew what came next and looked forward to it.

There are several benefits to a good routine. As I've mentioned in previous articles, most kids resist a change in activity. Routines can be familiar and comforting and ease your family from one task to the next. Because the kiddos are familiar with the routine, they won't argue with you as much – what happens just happens. For parents, it is almost like putting the household on auto-pilot and giving your nerves a break.

Routines do need to be flexible in special cases like illness or an evening outing. Know, too, that routines will change as your kids mature; they'll outgrow the desire for some of these routines or start their own rituals. Because of the reading ritual we established when they were young, my teens are avid readers and often read when heading off to bed.

Post a comment and share:     Where can routines and rituals help you in your home?

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