Family Routines

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April 1, 2020 - Author:

A routine is a sequence of actions that are regularly followed. While every family will have different routines, routines are important for all families to provide a sense of safety and security and to promote expectations and positive behaviors. Here are some ideas for what you might include in your family routine as your family “stays home and stays safe.”

Things you might include in a daily routine:

  • Wake up time
  • Exercise times
  • Meal times
  • Study times
  • Technology/Media times
  • Chore times
  • Creative activity times
  • Outside times
  • Quiet times
  • Service activity times
  • Self-care times
  • Spiritual learning times
  • Bedtime

Within your daily routine, you might have sub routines. For example, bedtime might have a routine of its own, with a sequence of steps repeated every time. Having one or two high value routines – routines that are working for your family and that are times of the day everyone looks forward to – is an important factor for families to function well.

How do you implement new routines?

  • Explain, model, and demonstrate the procedure.
  • Rehearse the procedure to ensure complete understanding.
  • Re-teach, practice, and reinforce the procedure until it becomes a habit or routine (22-50 times!).
  • Re-establish the routine after every big change or challenge.

Consider using visual reminders such as lists, picture charts, or photos of the children doing each step of the routine to assist children in remembering the steps of the routine. Know that some children need preparation and support if there will be changes to the routine.

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Related Topic Areas

Early Childhood Development, Parent Education

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