It’s routine time again- structured days that require alarm clocks, showers (more than the occasional dip in the pool) and clean clothing are upon us. This is the time of year when everyone (well, ok, mom and dad) scramble to bring order and organization and system to the unscheduled days of summer.
Here’s the deal:
If you’re chomping at the bit to implement a fresh, genius system of order, organization and routine so that you can reel it in and cruise into the new school year with your crafty ideas leading the way- don’t bother.
Let’s be real- your system (albeit clever) has nothing to do with your children getting geared up for school. It’s about you trying to bring control back into your homes so that you can get out the door nice and easy and at bedtime…shut the lights off on time, quietly.
It’s not a bad thing to want a clear system or to design one for yourself but just know it won’t work on your children and you’ll find yourself frustrated and exhausted when it doesn’t gel together like magic.
However, if you’re willing to:
- Challenge your own thinking (I must implement a system) and
- Invite the children to participate (the children can decide for themselves and I trust them)
BY ALL MEANS, HAVE AT IT!
Because you understand that in the long run, your child’s ability to create routines that support their individual rhythms will help them in EVERY aspect of their life.
Because you are eager and enthusiastic to teach and support your kids as they create systems that work for them – even if you are convinced they wont’ work all that well – which sends the message that you trust them and are behind them. This dramatically improves the relationship you have with those creative geniuses you are raising. Besides, what better way for your kids to learn what DOESN’T work when the stakes are low then to try, try and then try again.
Be prepared by having some duct tape near by to squash any attempts at correcting, saving or tinkering with the great ideas your children come up with. They will be late. They will be hungry. And more importantly, they will surprise you with their ingenuity, resourcefulness and resiliency. And aren’t those character traits we want ever child to embody.
Routines are about more then just systems for getting out of the house on time. They help kids build the kinds of character traits that will help them create meaningful, satisfying and joyful lives.
What systems have your children discovered work for them?