Many early childhood authors and experts encourage parents to set-up routines in their home for babies and toddlers, but I also think that routine is incredibly important for teenagers as well.
Why is Routine Important?
1. Less Negotiating
When I do speaking engagements I often ask teen audiences what their house rules are or if they have any routines in the home. Surprisingly, many of the teens say things like, “Our rules change depending on my mom’s mood,” or, “Our rules are always up for negotation,” or even, “I am not sure what our houserules are.” When I speak to these same teen’s parents later in the day, parents can easily list house rules and routines. Where is the disconnect? Many rules and routines are not clearly stated and teens will take any leeway they can get to negotiate. Routines help parents have to negotiate with teens less.
2. Stability Amidst Hormone Mood Swings
There is very little that is stable in a teen’s life. Their hormones are crazy, their school schedules change every semester, their friends are always on the ins and outs—it is great for them to have stable routines at home. This not only helps them when they are feeling all over the place, but also let’s them escape into routines. The family can easily slip into an after dinner routine of washing dishes, clearing the table and packing lunches even if someone is in a bad mood. When there isn’t a routine, someone in a bad mood can easily explode when asked to clear the table or make lunch.
Helping teens stick to routines helps them continue those healthy routines later in life—through college and beyond. Everything from Sunday night room clean-ups to Friday calls to Grandma can actually stick with teens and serve them well into their adulthood.
Here are some routine ideas that my teens and I came up with:
-After Dinner Routine
-Making Lunch Routine
-Sunday Evening Clean-up Routine
-Calling Grandma Routine
-Monthly Yard Clean-Out Routine
-Pre-Holiday Closet Clean Out Routine
-Spring Cleaning Routine
Do you have any routines you do in your home?
Flickr Image from: taberandrew