I don’t know about you, but I spend more time re-implementing an evening routine than following one! I would say that we are GREAT at killing our evening routines. Because we are so good at this, I have learned quite a few lessons on how to make this work. Here are some of my sure-fire ways to kill your evening routine this week!
#1 – Never Require Help After Supper
The easiest way to lose control is to allow your children to run away from the dinner table without helping clean up. I usually take this a step further and make it a whole house straighten up time. The times when I get slack on this are the nights when the kids go wild, and I find myself yelling for everyone to quiet down…
#2 – Don’t Have Reading Time With the Kids
This one is super hard for me for some reason. I am so tired by the end of the day that I don’t WANT to read out loud! It’s easier just to let everyone do their own thing. I have found that the whole atmosphere of the family is calmer and it promotes quiet conversation instead of loud arguments when we take the time to read together. One idea is to use audiobooks as a way for the whole family to enjoy a book instead of having to read out loud.
#3 – Allow the Kids to Choose their Own Bedtime
Bedtime is my favorite time of the day. It finally gets quiet, and I can take a deep breath. When I do bedtime, I keep it quick, to the point, and everyone is in bed at a fairly decent time. When my hubby is in charge, it takes him FOREVER to get everyone down. He does not have the same need to have bedtime run smoothly and efficiently. I have noticed that getting the children in bed BEFORE they get too tired is the key. You can’t wait until everyone is exhausted or you will pay for it with tears and frustration!
#4 – Feed Your Children a Snack
OK, so this one might be controversial. But from my own experience, if children have had a good supper, they do not need a snack before bedtime! Especially something with sugar. I had a hard time when visiting my In-Laws last time because they always wanted to feed my children right before bed. Once the expectation was set, the little one asked for food EVERY TIME it was bedtime. I still think it was a tactic to put off the inevitable. I also believe giving them food will also provide them with the ENERGY that you don’t want them to have!
#5 – Don’t be Consistent
The very best way to kill your evening routine is not being consistent. Things are so much smoother when the children know what to expect. When you allow craziness one night, but not the next, that is a recipe for disaster.
What are your own routine killers? Tell me in the comments below!