Creating Helpful Routines
The beginning of the school year is a great time to create new routines and systems to ensure a smooth morning and evening flow. To that end, I’ve asked Sarah Thompson of Clean Slate Vermont to offer her best tips. As a home organizer, Sarah helps busy families transform chaos into calm. Her biggest advice? Observe and tweak. Sarah recommends that parents observe their children’s behaviors, examine what problematic behavior might be about, and then tweak their approach. “It’s up to the parents to figure out what their kid is trying to tell them,” she said. For instance, you may want your child to get up at a certain time, but that might not match what they need. Think about how much time you’re giving your child to transition from sleep to breakfast to leaving the house. They might need more time in the morning. “Some kids need to get up earlier. That one change can take out the stress of the morning,” she said. The same theory applies at bed time. “Almost everyone puts their kids to bed later than they should,” she said. “Parents are afraid if they put their kids to bed early, they’ll wake up early. But they won’t.” She also suggests creating time in the evening that acts as prep for the next day. Spend 15 minutes talking about the upcoming day: what do your kids need for school? What time will you need to leave the house? Pull together any special items needed for the day. This time can even be spent laying out clothes, or getting boots, hats, and mittens ready by the door so leaving in the morning goes more quickly. The most important piece for both the morning and the evening is that the routine repeats daily.“The same thing should happen every night, the same schedule, the same order,” she said.The beginning of the school year is a perfect time to try new routines and rhythms and make tweaks as necessary. If you feel like you could use a hand making those adjustments, I highly recommend Sarah as someone who can guide you. Wishing you a fantastic beginning to the school year!