How I create a happy routine.

Ever since the kids got back into school from Christmas break, it’s been somewhat of a pain to get them back into the routine of things. I know I can’t be the only one, so… please… can I get an amen??

I find that with my kids, they really do thrive with structure in their lives, as most kids do. I love being sponaneous and carefree with them, but when school is in session, I need to get them on a routine, otherwise I am dealing with some savage, cranky kids, and that makes for an unhappy mama! I can promise you that. So, what I have found, is that my kids do well when there is guidance, but they get to make choices. I started this when my oldest was 2-3 years old. When we would set out his outfits for the next day, I would give him the option… “would you like to wear this yellow dinosaur shirt, or this green dinosaur shirt” (dinosaurs have been his fave since day 1 I swear!)… and I noticed that by allowing him to make a choice and take ownership of a situation, really gave him power, and it made him feel really good!

So, I tried to take that same concept into these routine charts. I have certain things I want them to accomplish everyday without me having to ask or remind them. And if we can start and end the day that way, without me nagging them, and the kids taking ownership of their choices, it really does create a much more positive home life!

Here’s how the routine lists go… We have a morning routine, evening routine, and a list of extras if somebody needs to be busy or wants to earn some more screen time. The third one doesn’t always get used, but it is handy to have a little list of go to’s of ways to earn something! I have my lists laminated, but you can use a variety of ways to check off without them being laminated. But since I do, I have my kids cross off which task they complete with a dry erase marker, or they’ve even used stickers too. Once they have their card filled, they have free time till it’s time to go to school (or whatever is happening for that day).

I have each list labeled with pictures and words for a few reasons. I like the simplicity of the layout. It’s clean, it’s easy to understand, and for my 3 year old that can’t read yet, he can look at the picture and know exactly what I am expecting him to do. It also helps them recognize words in the future! Major win win!! Plus you can move things around and edit these images pretty easily.

I’m going to give y’all an editable version of these so you can use the one I do, or put whatever images work best for the tasks you need your kids to compete. I hope that as you do use these, you will see an increase in order and happiness in your home! And if you don’t, I sure hope you can get your money back!!! 🙂