Evening Routine: Part 2 – establish a routine for the kids

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Bedtime can be  a stressful time of the evening, for the whole family with young ones being tired, throwing tantrums better known as a night time meltdown.  But it doesn’t have to be that way, all you need is a routine for the kids to learn.

Designate times:  Find a time in the late afternoon/evening that suits you to, bath the children, start cooking dinner and put the kids to bed.  Ensure that you stick to these times on a daily basis.  Understandably weekends may differ, but stick to the same routine.  Parents and children will find the evenings easier to manage when you know what’s expected next.

When my children were younger I started the bathing process around 4.30pm, start cooking dinner 5.00-5.15pm and they were in bed 6.30pm.  Now they are older our routine has changed to: 

3.30pm – Homework

4.00pm – playtime

5.15pm – Bath (they can bath themselves while I cook dinner)

5.20pm  – Start cooking dinner

6.30pm – start the bedtime routine

7.00pm – lights out

Allow the kids to help:  10 min before dinner is ready I call the kids to the table.  They each have an allocated job DS gets the drinks ready, DD#1 sets the table and the little one DD#2 puts the salt and pepper shakers on the table.  They love the responsibility of helping prepare for dinner.  Perhaps ask them to get the plates out ready or take it that one step further and see if they will unpack the dishwasher for you 🙂 Nah, that might be pushing it!!  My kids enjoy unpacking the dishwasher (crazy children)!!

Within a month of starting your new routine the children will begin to move from one task to the other quite easily.  Soon it will become predictable for them, they will learn that once dinner is complete they need to start their bedtime routine.

Try implementing a routine to suit your family, let me know how you go!

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Beck September 17, 2010 - 3:36 AM

I've started putting together my routine with a slight time limit at the moment to see what can be done it what amount of time, I plan for tea at 6 every night so I ask that toys are cleaned up, bedroom is tidy, and school bag is ready between 5 and 6 then the rest is play time till dinner time. We'll see how we go 🙂 See if thats enough time for them.

Katrina - The Organi September 17, 2010 - 10:35 PM

Great work Beck, you are off to a great start!!

Tania October 11, 2010 - 5:29 PM

Just wondered how old your kids are? Mine are 6&3 and I'm trying to work out what sort of chores they can realistically help with and what's unreasonable to expect. To my astonishment, they've helped mop the floor twice so maybe anythings possible;-)

Elle November 4, 2010 - 5:42 AM

Love it! My boy is almost 5 and he has been using the night and morning routines for a week now and its working brilliantly! thank you so much. Cant believe how clean his room is! and he has been making his bed, and the best part is that i dont have to tell him to do any of it! I just say go look at your list and hes off!

Thanks again x

Katrina November 4, 2010 - 7:13 AM

That's great news, will save you alot of time 🙂

Eponaspride March 26, 2012 - 4:35 PM

My boys (6 and 8) take turns setting the tables and doing the dishwasher. Daddy helps them with the items that go away too high for them to reach and sharp knives, but the kids do the rest, loading and unloading. I then do the handwashing. The kids love it and are usually more exited than daddy to get started.


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