Routines are how schools, businesses, and many corporations organize themselves to get things done. The same can also be said for a family. Using a routine, a family can expect to more easily get things done, spend time together, and have fun. Routines also help members of the family to know who will be doing what and at what time.
Family life can already be prone to chaos. The daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities of the parents or children can be extremely overwhelming in today's fast-paced society. Pair that with unrealistic expectations to be able to do everything (i.e. school clubs, PTA, social obligations, homework, etc.) and you have a recipe for absolute family breakdown. Given a routine, families and their individual lives can be managed effectively and still leave plenty of room for fun time together. When family routines become meaningful, they can provide a sense of strength, a core of values, and a secure sense of belonging to a cooperative family.
Children are first to benefit from a dependable routine. An organized and expected routine helps children feel secure. They know what to expect from their lives and therefore are more apt to deal with the unexpected. The unexpected could be the arrival of a new child in the family, a death, divorce, or illness, or other life stresses. A routine will help keep the child grounded and almost feel like a security blanket when stressful events happen. Their whole lives don't have to fall apart just because one piece is different or causing anxiety. They can deal with that one thing while comforted by the predictability and reliability of their daily or weekly routine.
Children also benefit from a routine when it is built around family fun. When time together as a family is built into a routine it will strengthen the relationship between family members, especially children to their parents. Studies have proven over and over again that a family routine that includes a scheduled family fun time at least once a week will provide a strong sense of self, a tighter bond between parents and children, and a greater sense of values in those that participate.
Routines also help children develop a sense of how to take care of themselves. They learn to brush their teeth before bed, eat healthy meals, exercise and use their time wisely to accomplish goals. Children that have a daily routine for taking care of themselves have shown to be less likely to get sick and be overly stressed.
For Parents, a set routine can be the key to feeling more organized, in control, and less stressed throughout the day. This is because a routine will help you complete your daily tasks efficiently and once a routine is established, it will allow you to do daily tasks almost automatically.
All this effective time and task management will also make you feel like a better parent. If you are satisfied with your daily work and are not overwhelmed by looming tasks, you are more likely to be receptive to your children's needs and have the time to spend with your family. This, for any parent, is real satisfaction in life.
Routines can be very diverse but all can be effective. Every family operates differently, so it would make sense to create a routine that works for your families needs. If can be very detailed or an as simple as some guidelines for the week. In any case, the importance of a routine is just that, routine. Make sure whatever is implemented is carried out and followed on a regular basis. This will then become a secure, and effective way of life for the whole family.