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7 Reasons Why Your Children Need Steady Routines

7 Reasons Why Your Children Need Steady Routines

Children need steady routines so they know what their days will be like, which will result in them being more agreeable in daily life. Happy children make happy parents! Here are some reasons why your kids (and you!) need to stick to routines.

1. Routines eliminate anxiety and provide security.

It’s a cliche that kids ask questions like “Are we there yet?” or “When will we do this?” over and over and over again, but they’re asking this because they want to know what’s coming next. It might be hard to hear the same thing all day, but indulge your child and answer them when they ask. If your child knows what is going to happen every day, they won’t be in the dark about what’s to come. Knowing what to expect helps decrease anxiety children might have about uncertainty in their lives.

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2. Routines relieve stress.

Admit it: even as an adult, knowing what to expect makes you feel less stressed. Knowing how your day will go makes everything seem easier. This goes for children as well, especially since kids don’t know as much about the world as adults. Trying a new vegetable can be just as scary as a major life change, since both things are unknown to a child! Anything you can do to establish a routine and help reduce stress for your child will make life easier on them.

3. Routines improve cooperation.

If a child knows they need to be ready to go to school at the same time every day, they’re more likely to cooperate and get dressed on time. Remind your child periodically: “In thirty minutes, we’re going to leave for school.” “In ten minutes, we’re going to leave for school.” This will give them advanced notice and they can start managing their time. It will help them learn how to transition from one activity to the other with less interruption and behavioral outbursts. This habit will also transfer to other events, so they’re more likely to cooperate when it’s time to go to the doctor, or other less exciting tasks.

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4. Routines get things done.

Having a routine ensures that your child will complete everything they’re supposed to do. If they wake up at the same time every day, they will have time to make their bed before coming down for breakfast. After breakfast, they will get dressed for school and make sure their homework is packed in their backpacks. Without this routine, your child (and you!) would be rushed every morning. You might not have time for breakfast, and your child’s homework might be left on the dining table. Routines like this help your child take responsibility for himself.

5. Routines build self-confidence.

Have you ever noticed how your child straightens up when you praise him? If he has routines set up, he can accomplish more tasks on his own. He can do his own things while you do yours, and then you can compliment him when he’s done. This also helps establish responsibility. This means not only does he have more freedom, but so do you!

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6. Routines teach organization.

Children having routines at bedtime or for putting things away teaches them that organization helps life run more smoothly. Unlike kids who grow up in chaotic, rushed, messy homes, your child will always know exactly where to find their belongings, and when they need to find them.

7. Routines can be flexible.

Don’t establish so many routines that your children feel overwhelmed and kept in a box. Let them leave the dishes in the sink one night to stay up and watch a movie with the family. Don’t be so strict they act out or feel like they don’t have freedom, but also don’t be so lax that they know you’re a pushover if they hit the right buttons. There’s a careful balance that ensures your children will benefit from set routines.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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