Children crave structure and routine. It is my experience that routines not only bring a sense of familiarity to their lives, they also provide opportunities for us to spend quality time with our kids. Many of us have routines for our kids around bedtime, getting ready for school or homework, but this same structure allows you to create some fun, lasting memories.
Some of the little things you can do with your kids that will quickly become big things involves establishing routines they will enjoy. When you share routines together its demonstrates how special and important your children are in your life. These can be as simple as cooking breakfast together on Sunday mornings or going for ice cream or frozen yoghurt every other Friday night.Most activities are already apart of your lives, however if you start to make a big deal out of it and build up to the event they too will start to look forward to it.
For example, in our house I know that walking our dog together on Friday nights just once or twice a month and stopping to get an ice cream cone is a treasured event. Both by my daughter and my dog! So many nights after dinner she asks what are plans are for the evening if we are home and when nothing else is scheduled we can take Ruby for a walk together, which is also code for going ti get an ice cream cone.
Another routine at our house involves the after dinner challenges. We’ll take turns coming up with challenges to give each other with fun consequences or rewards. Just a few days ago I was challenged to go a whole Saturday without using proper names in our house. And each time I said any nameI’d have to pay a quarter. Holding herself to the same standard meant that by the end of the night we net her $3.75 in fines agains my $4.50 and I only pay her $0.75. I got off easy and we had fun.
These opportunities are all around us and they don’t have to cost much if any money. Just be creative and watch the good times grow as exercising, cleaning, shopping and other chores can all benefit from the creation of fun, healthy routines.