Summer is a great time of year where kids can spend hours outside running free, playing and being little. We spend our summers at the pool, playing in the backyard, eating ice cream and going on bike rides. Our schedules are a little less packed, which gives some breathing room for extra time outside and later bedtimes which hopefully leads to sleeping in, but not always though.
Now, however, we’re back in school and my mind has switched gears to having a more set schedule. I strongly believe that our family needs routine and functions best when everybody knows what is expected of them. My children are in first grade and preschool, and I think it’s good to show them the balance of school work and play. For example, if my first grader comes home with a project, we need to get that done first before heading outside or to her sport’s practice. This seems like an easy and obvious thing, but for kids, all they want to do is play. If I make it a routine where we come home and get our necessary things done, they can feel a sense of accomplishment and then enjoy the reward of playing. I have a master degree in psychiatric nursing, and I can say that helping kids develop responsibility is a positive thing, as long as it’s being done in a gentle and kind way. It’s not easy, but if you stick to the routine, when they get older they’ll already have good study habits which will only help them to succeed in the future.