Hello everybody! I hope you guys are well.
I believe wholeheartedly that a consistent routine does work with children and if you implement it early, your children will get used to it and it’ll become the norm. I know that this information is not new, but just in case, there’s someone out there asking, “Does this really work?” I’m here to say that it does. I’m always being asked, “How do you get your children to bed at a reasonable hour?” and “How did you get them to eat and love vegetables and fruits?” My constant answer to those questions and many more is, “We introduced things at an early age and we made it a routine.” Once you make a routine you have to be consistent about it and try your very best not to break it, even if you’re on vacation. My children are used to taking a bath at 8 pm, brushing their teeth afterwards, putting their pajamas on and hopping into bed to go to sleep. Hugs and kisses are given out; well wishes for good dreams are said along with a see you in the morning. Then, lights out! Even while we’re away from home, we stick to the routine because they’re already used to it and it’s beneficial for their little bodies to have adequate time to rest. If they’re running around way past midnight, not only are they going to be tired and cranky in the morning (if they can’t sleep in), but so are you. I’m cranky enough in the morning, I don’t need to be more and my husband will second that.
Introducing vegetables and fruits early on instead of later is obviously healthy and you’ll PROBABLY have fewer arguments. Vegetables like broccoli and spinach are hard to introduce to a child when they’re around four or five so it’s best to do it once a child can safely start eating solids. My two and a half-year old loves broccoli and she actually proclaims it out loud, which is very funny during dinnertime. She may have days where she doesn’t want to eat it so I give her something else like tomatoes. You have to mix things up and please don’t give up. I know firsthand that it’s hard and I will admit that I have thrown in the towel several times. Fortunately for me, I have a backup plan and that’s my husband who takes over when I need a break. It’s true when they say, “just because they don’t like it one day, doesn’t mean they won’t like it another day.” I send my daughter to school with a small container of veggies and a small container of fruits in her lunch bag along with her main dish. It is my responsibility to send her to school with a healthy lunch. I also include a small snack that she enjoys and as for her drink, we alternate days between water and juice. I don’t want to be too strict or even a hypocrite because my coffee in the morning can definitely use a little less sugar. I try my best to balance things out and that’s why I made a choice awhile back to banish soda from my home. So far, so good.
As for good manners, if you make it a habit in saying “please” and “thank you” along with “you’re welcome” and “I’m sorry,” your children will pick up on these words and start repeating them, non-stop. It’s wonderful to hear my youngest say, “good morning,” to me and “excuse me,” when someone is in her way. I loved it when my daughter’s teacher told me that she had exceptional manners during our parent/teacher conference last year. Can you imagine living in a world where everyone practiced good manners? As corny as it may sound, it would be a nice world to live in. We just have to do our part and pass the lessons on to our children.
If you haven’t started a routine or a schedule, start now. It might be hard and take a while, but your child will benefit from knowing what they’re supposed to do and why. They need and will welcome structure in their lives. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s our job to teach our children first. They look up to us. We are their first teachers. Expectant mothers, new moms, guardians, etc. hear and believe me when I say that once your child is tucked in at a consistent time every single night, your time to relax begins every single night as well. So start putting into practice those routines and stay consistent. You’ll never regret it.
Take good care all.
Until next time…