I admit that I’m a little weird about routines. Ok, I’m really weird.
There’s good reason though. I know that without a good system, I don’t follow through. (Then I beat myself up about it and it becomes a vicious cycle. You know what I mean?)
That’s why I have a pretty rigid morning routine. And a well-established night routine too. I have a lot of other systems in my household and work life too.
It’s also why I created a routine system for my kids.
I wanted to follow through on teaching them good habits and responsibility.
And I needed more help from my family without nagging and losing my sanity in the process.
Here’s the simple 3 step system that works for us. I think it could work for you too!
1. Try a Chore Chart
First, each child has an assigned chore for each weekday.
The kids have the same chore on the same day every week. At this point, they have them memorized.
Example: Monday = dishwasher, Tuesday = pick up living room, etc.
2. Use a Daily Chart or Checklist
They complete their checklist each day.
We use a simple checklist that includes a spot for their daily chore along with good habits and what they need to do to get ready for school in the mornings on their own.
- Eat and put away breakfast
- Pack backpack with water bottle and snack
- Do homework/spelling/reading
3. Give a Reward
If they get their checklists done during the week, they get screen time on Saturday afternoon.
This does NOT have to be your reward. It just happens to be what gets my kids moving. You can find amazing rewards for kids and teens here. You may find that screen time doesn’t do much and allowance works better. Every kid is different.
***Since implementing the system, my kids…
- consistently do chores – without nagging, fighting, or lots of discussion
- actually brush their teeth ? (but really, see why we need this?!?!)
- get ready for school with very little parent help (it’s shocking how little)
- understand that pitching in is just part of our family life
I highly recommend a similar system to everyone!
The kids have learned so many useful life skills since we started this. And as a parent, I’m also better able to focus on my own work and relax a little bit more because my kids can take care of themselves. It’s a HUGE win-win for all of us!
Yeah, but what happens when the kids push back?
Let’s face it: they are kids. Kids test you! Whenever the kids whine or complain I tell them they don’t HAVE to complete their checklists at all.
They always have the choice not to complete them. They just won’t get their weekend reward if they choose not to.
This freedom to choose ends all arguments. Fortunately, my kids LOVE screen time so they always turn around and do what needs to be done. But it’s also why it’s important to find a reward that motivates them.
Where Else Can You Use a System?
This is just one example of why systems are amazing for structuring the day-to-day tasks in your life. When you have kids things get complicated. There are a million things to remember! So, simplify and alleviate that mental overload you have as a parent.
Then, how else could a system benefit you? It’s time to do some brainstorming!
Perhaps you need your own adult system? Or more structure when it comes to your routines? Or a family system for papers or meals? The possibilities are endless!