Top 5 ways to keep your home happy, healthy and functioning!
1. Set routines / schedules:
This means everything has a place and there’s an order to when and how things get done . The easiest way to have an organized calm morning is to start the night before – ( chores, place for back pack snacks, papers to sign etc.)
Let the kids have a snack or change clothes after school before starting homework – allow them to talk about their day – ask questions ( open ended ) this is where you find out a lot. If they answers with one word keep asking in different ways.
2. Have family time and individual time:
This means when you are together as a family that’s it. No phones or t.v you can use the something happy and something crappy method to start conversation. Everyone is present and connected .
You can even do the family date nights as well where you try cooking new foods together, watch a new genre of movie , read a book together.
Individual time – married couples need a date night schedule at least two per month where you date your spouse- ( could be a walk , movie night , dinner – doesn’t have to cost anything) no kids and no talk about work or joint life – this is time to get to know your spouse again –
If you’re single – you need time alone too – plan a yoga girls night in or something that gets you away from kids and work.
This is difficult and needs to be adjusted as per family dynamic:
If your child has a bed time then no electronics after that time – or you can do 30 minutes after that time should the child read a book on kendel or audio book – it can also be 30 minutes to an hour before bed time to allow the child to wind down for the night ( depends on the child , age, and homework.) weekends depending on the age of the child and family routine you can limit screen time to 2 hours per day including watching t.v. For younger children.
Encourage reading books, playing outside, legos , etc.
if they are older also encourage new experiences, taking part in volunteer program, maybe do cooking/ baking show together/ pool etc. as much as possible away from the screen .
4. Night time routine:
Some children do better with a shower / bath at night others in the am – this will depend on your family and routines you put in place /
After dinner – wind down , finish homework, take a shower , and get ready for rest.
10 pm is a good bedtime for during the week if your child is 9-10th grade ( may l vary depending on sports and clubs.)
11-12th grade can be anywhere from 10-midnight- some kids do well with their own internal clocks and others need assistance.
This is where you knowing your child comes in and also having that conversation with your child- you can stay up until 11 if you get up on your own , aren’t cranky, and able to do xyz as you should each morning. This is where flexibility and giving your teenager responsibilities comes in. If you give the chance and it doesn’t work let them know ok we are going back to 10 and we will try 11 again in another month ( specific date and time. And follow through on your word)
Morning routine – all alarms are set ( or you wake your kids) everyone knows what is expected – be very clear here with time , and locations.
5. Rewards and punishment:
Especially for teens if they do all the things you expect ( and be clear don’t say good grades say a’s and B’s or chores – specifically what and how – it has to be measurable and achievable ) and they want to stay out later allow that – maybe additional 30 to 45 minutes more ( depending on the environment and location) give a little bit and offer it without them asking – this will show that you are noticing their good behaviors and with that comes more trust and freedom. Teenagers old enough to have a job should have one and you can ask for 50 dollars per pay check or month to go towards their car insurance, cell phone bill , or just save it for them for college / graduation / trade school etc. this helps with responsibility and accountability.
Punishment A make it fit the crime and be specific with a time limit – bullying – you can get with your cell phone provider and all messages are seen by parents for 3 months and then you will reevaluate.
Grades under what you set ( again needs to be attainable and achievable ) take away the amount of times he/ she can go out per week and for how long. For 9 weeks or 3 ( based on intern or report card)
Everything you do has to be consistent and you have to follow through on what you say. You also get to create. New dynamic and make adjustments with your family/ children as they grow – what once was needed as rule may no longer be needed.
Be present with your family and children and even though they may look like and it may seem as they are rebelling all kids look for structure and consistency!