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How Setting a Family Routine can Change your Life

April 3rd, 2018 | By: Alyson Schafer
It's proven that kids respond well to routines. Here's how to add order to your family life and reduce the chaos.

In This Article

How Setting a Family Routine can Change your Life

Are you one of the many parents who feel like a frenetic chicken running around with your head cut off?

If you want more Namaste in your family life, it’s time to put your energies into tackling better family routines. This is one of the master skills of parenting, and it's so worth the investment! Here are my top pointers on why routines are important and how to set them up and enforce them.

Routines are so important

Routines are predictable and consistent, which make us feel safe. First we hang up coats, then we put our boots on the mat and then we wash our hands before snack. We are safe! In doing so, we can predict what happens next and we know what we're supposed to do. There are no surprises or potential dangers now that we know this sequence, so now we can relax and turn off our stress response.

According to a 2012 study published in the journal Sage, there's a correlation between chaotic homes and behavioral problems in children. Researchers at the University of Louisville, Columbia University, New York University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute found that the more chaotic a family's life is (in which household chaos is defined by disorganization, lack of routine, excessive noise, crowdedness, and an overly fast pace), the more likely their kids will encounter a string of issues including: smaller vocabularies, lower IQs, more stress, higher levels of aggression, poorer sleep patterns, less positive relationships with parents and siblings and worse overall health.

The reality is that most of us default to the routine of yelling at the kids to get out of the damn bath, beg them to put on their pajamas, and then negotiate on whether we read one or 10 bedtime stories. The fact is, we as parents are largely inconsistent and unpredictable in establishing and maintaining routines, and our children's bad behavior proves this.