Having routines is so important for children and families. Routines are like an anchor, keeping you and your family grounded, steady.
Routines can be simple, like brushing your teeth before you go to bed and reading a story. Routines give children something to count on, something that makes them feel safe. Routines lead to happier, healthier and better behaved children generally.
To set up routines for your family, start simple. Some families need more structured routines, while others need looser, freer routines. Be flexible. If something is not working, don’t be afraid to change it. Make sure that you allow for some downtime. Being willing to re-evaluate from time to time gives you the freedom to create a routine that meets the needs of your family. Don’t over schedule yourself or your family. That can just create more stress.
Make routines that fit your family. Family routines are very personal and each household’s will be unique. The only “right” routine is the one which works the best for you for the place where you are today. Don’t try to keep up with the “Smith’s”. You will drive yourself and your family crazy if your routines don’t fit.
And lastly, plan and organize! This can be tough if you are not the organizing type. A family calendar is a great way to organize your family’s life. For our family calendar, each family member has their own color. The calendar is kept in a location where everyone can see it.
It is never to late to start a routine. I think you will find that routines=family harmony!
Here are a few websites with more information about routines and a couple of Pinterest ideas for family calendars:
I love dogs! This is hilarious! Enjoy! Just click on the picture!
Are you planning on heading out of town for a summer trip?
Are you flying or driving? Traveling with kids can be an undertaking! I have found that if I over prepare, we usually have a successful trip to and fro. And by over preparing, I mean extras of everything. Extra snacks, extra batteries, extra toys, and so on!
Depending on the age of your child(ren), how much can they be involved in the process. Can they have a camera or are they able to journal about the experience? Discuss your expectations with them ahead of time. What should they expect to happen while traveling and how you expect them to behave.
Make sure they wear comfortable, layered clothing. Cars and airplanes have variations in temperatures and potentially many people to accommodate. Wearing a sweatshirt or light jacket they can pull off and on is great. Recently I saw a family at an airport waiting to board their plane and they all had the same colored outfit on. It was a family of 7! I am sure it helped the parents and older siblings to keep an eye on the younger ones in a busy place like an airport.
Don’t give them lots of sugar! Make sure that snacks are well balanced so they don’t get that “sugar rush” or “sugar drop”.
Do any of the kids need medicine? Make sure it is handy at all times. In case of delays or problems popping up unexpectedly.
And one of my favorite tips…have plenty of WIPES! Even though I no longer have a child under 8, I have wipes in my purse, in the car and in my travel bag. You just never know when you need them! And usually when you do, you need a lot!
Head over to our Pinterest page for destinations, tips, blogs and other travel related pins.
Did you build forts as a child? We did! All over the house. Sometimes my mom would help. Other times, she would cringe because we would pull every cushion or pillow off of the couches and chairs throughout the house. Building forts meant more to us then just creating a space for ourselves. And as a parent, I now see the significance of fort building for more than a quiet space for my kids. It is engineering, construction, imagination and so much more.
The other day I saw this great Pinterest Pin about fort building. Take a look! Great stuff.
One thing I want to stress…you do not need a kit to make a great fort! One of the fun parts of building a fort is the trial and error about what pieces of furniture or ways to keep the sheet up that make it so fun and adventurous! Click on the photo for the Pinterest Pin or here to go directly to the story.
I am sure we have all experienced this…
If not with your own children, perhaps you have witnessed one in the store. As a parent, they are infuriating. As a witness, it can make you uncomfortable. Some people will sympathize with the parent of the screaming child, others judge and shake their heads. They might be saying to themselves, “My child would NEVER do that!”
At any rate, it can be a catastrophic event for all involved! Most toddlers cannot form complete sentences or be able to put their feelings into words. That is a huge frustration for these little ones and therefore, tantrums can occur.
So what can you do to diffuse this tantrum or meltdown? What has worked for me in the past is to redirect the child. You can do this in many ways. You can ask them to do a job. For example: Could you hold Mommy’s keys, I can’t load this in the cart with them in my hands.
You can act SILLY! Dancing or singing or doing something to make them laugh is enough to break their mood.
You can ignore them. This can be hard! Especially if you are in public. But sometimes you get lucky and ignoring it, they may stop.
You can leave the scene. Get out of line or leave the store. Please keep in mind to do this calmly. If you quietly leave the store, you are letting your child know that you are in charge and in control.
Here are some other articles that you may find helpful:
Hopefully you will find some helpful hints about diffusing tantrums and MELTDOWNS in this post!