The planner I LOVE and use incorporates this amazing idea of rituals. There are four of them:
- Morning routine
- Workday start up routine
- Workday shut down routine
- Evening routine
Each of these rituals includes the things you need to get done at each particular point of the day to set you up for success and to allow for the transition necessary. For example my morning ritual looks like this:
- Teeth / dressed
- Plan day
I’m now in the process of adopting what I do to what works for my kiddos. Last year for the kids I had a huge to do list for them each day that they’d check off. It kind of worked kind of didn’t. After using this planner for the last quarter, I realized that it’s partly because it was sectioned off in this manner. That kind of breakdown would probably help my kiddos.
Kiddos need routine too! Routines for the kiddos typically include things like meals together, reading and singing at bedtime and even consistent family playing time. Researchers from the National Center for Education Statistics examined over 8,500 children and their routines that included those specific activities. They found the social-emotional health of those kiddos who had routines was higher which affected everything from social skills to performance in school. Scientists also found routines at bedtime, along with a consistent bedtime, produce better sleepers up to the age of six. The more consistent the routine, the better the impact. A routine family meal improves the likelihood kids will eat healthier (by 24 percent) and reduces chances they’ll have an eating disorder (by 35 percent) or even be overweight (by 12 percent) according to Cornell University researchers.
Routine acts like a safety net to a child where so much is constantly changing. It’s so hard being a kid. You know, having someone cook for you, change your diapers, carry you everywhere and provide for all your needs.
No wait, that’s not the hard part.
What’s hard is that their brains, their bodies, their grade level and their eating habits are constantly changing. It can be pretty tough for a little person. Having a routine means they have something constant, they have reassurance that some things are predictable. Some things don’t change. Much. This routine also allows kiddos to get good at something. You know, getting up, brushing teeth, going to school. If they do that the same every day then they’re going to get pretty good. That’s a nice little confidence boost for a person who is learning and developing so rapidly it can seem like nothing gets mastered.
In fact, a routine is actually freeing in that it allows those young brains to focus on other stuff rather than wondering what spiral of events things will occur in today. And, anytime you think routine isn’t important, try not getting a toddler their nap and see how well it works out. Hint: not well. It works out not well.
So, let’s do this together. Let’s brainstorm this together. I’ll put some of the basics here. And there will also be a spot for you to allot time. So many times we underestimate how long it takes us (or our kids) to do things. Then we’re rushed and yelling. This is a chance to fight back against that! Be realistic with your time. Then count backward from when the deadline is. My daughter can get her stuff done in 30 minutes. My son takes an hour to do the same amount of stuff. So, I have to have him up at 7am in the morning in order to not need to yell!
Print out the blank template and make it for your kiddos. Discuss it, display it and use it! Watch the wonders it works. Print here: Kiddo rituals
Kid morning routine:
- Pick up room if needed
- Hug mom
- Dishes / table
Kid school day start up routine:
- Pack lunch
- Do hair
Kid school day shut down routine:
- Unpack backpack
- Lunch dishes in dishwasher
- Homework / forms
- Repack & Hang up backpack
- Clean up
- PJs / teeth
- Story & song
- Hugs & kisses & prayer
Of course, these routines won’t work every time but that’s okay. The expectation is set and the possibility is there. This is our best case scenario! This is what will really help our kiddos win the day!
The planner I use is Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. I highly recommend it. Buy the planner. Get the code first here, then go to the shop. Browse about the planner here, you can flip through EVERY page, it’s pretty cool.
Also, if you’d like to edit the document itself, here is a link. Just make a copy, save to your google drive and then make changes!