We NEED a family routine that works!!! HELP!!!!

Wendy - posted on 01/23/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi ladies! Up until now, we really had a routine just go with the flow type of thing. Our children are 7 year old boy and soon to be 4 year old girl and have no routine and is needing it badly!!! Our son has to be up between 6-6:30 to get ready for school and we leave the house around 7:30 and gets out of school at 2:30. Our daughter usually watches tv or plays while I try to clean house (sometimes works) and she is one that wants me ALL the time and i dont get things done because she wants this, that and the other. I try to put her down after lunch (here its 11:30 or 12) for a couple of hours IF she is really tired and then by that time i take a nap as well considering I get up at 5:30 ( or I try anyways). After brother is home, he does his homework while Emmy is playing and then him and Emmy will watch tv again. I think I let them watch wayy to much tv :( Dinner around here is between 5 and 6pm afterwards, jammies on and brush teeth, then watch a movie. Nathanial will sleep in his bed all night but Emmy does not. She usually sleeps with me or on the couch, never sleeps in her bed (both share a room since we live in a 2 bedroom apt) Its more difficult because my husband works alot (gone two weeks out of the month) so Im pretty much a single parent but I try my best and I know that is all I can do. So, our son goes to bed around 8-8:30 and stays asleep while our daughter is up till almost 11pm!!! Its crazy and I cant keep her in the same rm as brother b/c he needs his sleep b/c of having to wake up early on school days. The next day starts all over again so as you can see, I need help!!! Thankyou ladies!

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Okay, my family is younger than yours (2 year old and one on the way) but I'll take a shot at this question!

Make a list of what you want to get done each day. What is top priority? Getting son to school, dishes washed, laundry done, dinner made...whatever is important to YOUR family. Start with those things that need to get done every day. Do those things at the same time and same order everyday.

Example: I wake up when my daughter gets up (because we don't have to be somewhere at a certain time). We use the potty and put on daytime clothes. Then I make breakfast and we eat. After we eat, she watches Sesame Street while I unload the dishwasher, reload it with breakfast dishes, start a load of laundry and take a shower (sometimes she'll forgo TV to help me). I'll also set out the dinner meat the thaw so that I'm not rushing to make dinner later. Middle of the day varies depending on the day. End of the day, I start the dishwasher before bed so it's ready to unload in the morning, sweep the kitchen floor, wipe the counters, and I put away that load of laundry I started in the morning. I do this EVERYDAY. It rarely changes. So everyday I at least know that we'll have clean dishes and clothes, a fairly clean kitchen, and dinner on the table. (I also clean the bathroom while my daughter takes a bath...but I don't always get the whole thing clean).

As far as the tv goes...I don't think there is a right and wrong answer here. I limit it to one show or movie a day. The rest of the time I have craft supplies on hand, so she can get creative. Or I let her help in the dinner prep and cleaning. If you are worried about too much tv, maybe cut out the after homework tv time? I don't know if I'd cut the movie because that seems to be part of your bedtime routine.

I don't have great advice on getting your 4-year-old to sleep, especially since she doesn't have her own room. I'm sorry. But I hope something here has helped.

Hailey - posted on 01/23/2011

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My family is My little girl, Liesel who is 4 and Blake who is 3, partner and one on the way. Liesel has to be at school at 8:45, i leave out at 8:30. We pick her up again at 3:15. So between 9 and 2:30 i try and get all jobs jobed!



Blake will get involved in doing dinner, peeling veg ect. He thinks he loads the washer and presses the buttons to turn it on. He likes to 'polish with me' (not that i do that every day) He will go off and play or watch tv on his own if he feels like it. Or inbetween we do a puzzle or a picture or his numbers/letters.



Lunch is at 1 because daddy comes home for half an hour for lunch at 1.



I try and tidy up as i go and then not much to do when kids go to bed. Eg i load up dish washer after lunch and snacks, pick toys up as i go.



Blake might have a nap in the buggy on the way to get Liesel from school if he hasnt already had one. I stopped trying to get him to have a nap because we were fighting a lot about it. When she is home about 4 i pretty much leave it up to Liesel what we do. She will say when she is hungry which is between 4 and half 5. Then bath (most nights unless they really dont want to) Then bed, always my bed!! There is 4 in my bed! They do have their own rooms (till july and one will be sharing with the new baby) but they always choose my bed. I aim to have them asleep before 7. They love their books so we try and get to bed early and read loads. If Blake has had a big nap he has a late night so i try and wake him up when we get back from school.



When they are asleep, i try and leave the house how i would like to find it in the morning, vacumed, dishes done. That way, if i have a day out with Blake the next day the house is ok. Or if i miss a day of jobs its not the end of the world. Then feed the animals and maybe a bit of tv or Circle of mums, if i dont need an early night.



It doesnt sound too different to yours, maybe mine go to bed a bit earlier but i have to coz they are devils the next day if i dont. They wake up at 6 or earlier without fail next morning no matter if they have late or early night, but if its late they are not how do i say this nicely, in the best of moods!!!



Reading that back my home seems very orderly! Its not haha. Lots of "Liesel" "Blake" "sleep now, teeth brushed, hair done now" and i feel like a nag!!

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Lindsey - posted on 01/24/2011

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It seems to me that the biggest issues here are your daughter not sleeping at the times you would like her to each night, and that she desires more attention from you throughout the day.
I wouldnt say the TV is a bad thing, but asking her to participate in your activities might help her feel like shes spending more time with you. Buy a child sized broom, her own set of rags for dusting, a small bucket with her own spray bottle- a few of her own things to help with chores will really help her feel like shes being of some help to you, and spending time with you, even if what youre asking her to do isnt something thats on the to do list that day. Even asking her to color at the table while youre doing your work, maybe relocate to the table to be next to her, and say something like "its project time" and then share with eachother what youve done. While she might not really care about what it is youve been doing, she'll love having you ask her questions about the art shes created. One on one time like the suggestions ive provided really help me balance out my 3 children and make me feel like the 4th on the way will be no trouble at all.
Getting a child to sleep when you want them to, for how ling you'd like them to is a whole different story!! My best suggestion is to tweak the night time routine so that she understands that 'after this' its bedtime. Like after a light snack, or after a bedtime story. We've never done TV before bed, we like to have our 'quiet time' and keep the lights dim for about 30 minutes before bed without any elecrtonics. I've always told my kids that if they dont want to sleep thats fine, but night time is a special time for our bodies to rest so they need to stay in bed and use their whispers. Maybe give her a flashlight (thats hard to take apart if youre worried about choking), or let her pick one (reasonably sized) toy to bring to bed with her (my kids usually opt for a Barbie, action figure or book to look at). A safe activity to bring to bed that allows her to stay in bed will help you get the sleep you need.
Hope some of this was helpfull as the only advice I can offer is what has worked for me :) Best of luck to you!!

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