Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reflections on Routines

Morning Routines:
I have noticed that the entire house runs a lot smoother when parents sets the stage, the tone and the expectations of how mornings should be run. Also, when everyone is working together and doing what is expected of them, everyone is happy. Children need to be dressed and washed, with teeth brushed, chores will need to be done, breakfast needs to be prepared and eaten, scripture reading and prayer… there are so many things that seem so important in the morning! I want to approach mornings and the work they take with joy because we are doing it together as a family and because the way that mornings start set the stage for the rest of the day.

Mealtime Routines:
Children helping with the preparation of dinner, setting the table and clearing the table are where they can learn important lessons of small acts service and good manners. It also helps share the work load when children are clearing their own plates and helping mom with the dishes. Gentle encouragement is important in this area, for example when a younger child hears you thanking an older child for helping to care for our things so carefully and making the house a lovely place, they want to do it too.

Bed Time/Evening Routines:
I think the key to successful night time routines is simplicity and consistency. for example; bath, books, prayer, bed could be a simple start.
Keeping it simple also provides some familiarity when traveling or are away from home. Also, I think it is important to prepare for the new day by setting out the things you need in advance like clothes, school lunch, filled water bottles, etc. Getting ready the night before is not always easy. Even now, I don’t really feel like spending extra time on things that don’t seem to matter at that moment, but when I skip this routine, I always end up regretting it in the morning.

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