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How Setting a Family Routine can Change your Life

How Setting a Family Routine can Change your Life

How to Enforce Routines

Most of us are good at setting routines, but get can get frustrated when our children don't comply. Here are three fast ways to hold them accountable:

1. Natural consequences

What would happen if we did nothing? If their dinner plate is still on the table when breakfast is being served, you can say: "I would love to serve you breakfast, but there is a dinner plate in the way." The reality of their need to look after their plate will come to light and then they can hustle to get it in the dishwasher.

2. Logical consequences

You can also create a consequence, either on your own or with your older children. Simply ask them to help you come up with an appropriate consequence. For example, you could say, "We all know we are supposed to clear our plates from the table after dinner. What should happen if someone doesn't do their job?" Make sure the consequence is related (logical) to the behavior.

"When ___," and "then ___" statements replace threats and yelling. Simply state the routine and the order that must be followed: When your dish is cleared from the dinner table, then I know you're ready for playing cards. When your pajamas are on then I know you're ready for stories.

Use the clock or timer to keep the routine on schedule. "I'm sorry, your pajamas aren't on, but the clock says tuck-in time is over. There is no time left for stories. Tomorrow night we can try again and see if we can move faster through the routine to ensure we get story time."