My husband and I have moved approximately fourteen times over the last nine years we have been together. Some moves have been longer than others, but either way, it has taken its toll on our family; especially the kids.
Some of the ways it affected the kids were:
- Unrestful sleeping
- Acting out for attention
- Not listening to us
- Whining (LOTS of it!)
- Arguing with their siblings
- Not their usual self
In my opinion, everyone should have a schedule, or at least a routine, especially when there are kids in the picture.
A schedule consists of set times when certain events will happen such as waking up, lunch time, etc. Routine is not set at a certain time, but is the way you habitually do certain activities such as bedtime routine, wake up routine.
Kids rely on the parents/caregivers as well as schedules and routines, and creates a security blanket for them. If kids know what is going to happen, when, where, and how; they are less likely to act out and be less fearful of their environments. At least, in my experiences this has been proven to be true.
I learned about the schedule and routine lessons the hard way about two years ago. We had only three children at the time (5, 4, and 2), and I was pregnant with our fourth child. I was working full time at the university hospital while attending school full time. My husband was a stay at home dad while looking for employment and attending school full time in evenings. We had no schedule – at all, not in the least bit. We would just wing it each day.
Wrong, wrong idea. Not good for anyone.
When I realized the importance of a schedule and routine, I sat down with my husband at the kitchen table one night, and said, “We have got to do something. We are falling apart.” He agreed. And with a newborn due in the coming months, this was more important than ever!
“We have got to do something. We are falling apart.” We immediately sat down and made a schedule!!
A schedule drastically improved our household! We were all much happier and the kids were far less difficult. Keeping the schedule to realistic expectations and having it ‘do-able’ by all family members was a great success, too! The great part? It only took about a week or so to adjust to it. I like quick results, don’t you?
What a life saver the schedule was, too, when the new baby came home. Sure my husband and I were tired due to taking care of a newborn, but it was much easier with well-behaved and well-adjusted children! We created a separate schedule for the new baby, Abby, as well as a sleeping schedule for us. That helped with being less tired and actually got Abby on a somewhat similar sleeping/feeding schedule, too!
Win, win, win!
We have had to adjust and readjust our schedules a few times due to new work schedules and school settings; however, no matter how many times we have had to changes to our schedules, our routines have pretty much remained unchanged.
I’m not going to bore you with showing you our schedule, but
our schedule embraces our day and we aren’t forced to do something that just doesn’t fit!
Since being on a schedule, the kids have:
- had restful sleeping
- been more attentive to other family members
- had less whining, and more laughing
- been playing more with their siblings
- been more interactive with the family
As of right now, we do not own our home, so unfortunately moving is still in the foreseeable future; however, having the family on a schedule and routine has really changed us for the better.