Routines at School and at Home
As former teachers, we at RAISE know that we couldn’t have gotten through one day teaching without routines. The first day of school, children often come to our classrooms nervous and unsure what to expect. They wonder what a typical day will look like in a new grade level, where the materials are kept in the classroom, and how their teacher will treat them. This is why teachers spend the first several weeks of school focusing primarily on setting routines and expectations for children.
We cannot jump right into learning, because we first have to set the stage for success. Students soon feel confident coming to their new classroom, because they know the routines and what’s expected of them. This helps them to feel at home in this new space. Building routines at home serves the same purpose. Starting a new habit of having meaningful conversations with your child will be more successful if you first have a routine for this in place.
Routines Help Children Feel Safe
A child who has routines to follow feels safe and knows what is expected of him/her. Imagine you’re starting a new job, but the company doesn’t give you a job description to follow. You are just told to “wing it.” You’re likely to feel confused, overwhelmed, unorganized, and less efficient. This is how a child feels when not given appropriate structure and routines to follow.
Expectations Should be Modeled and Explicitly Taught
Children come into this world with no understanding of boundaries, how the world works, or expectations. Yes, it is beautiful how children follow their intuition and express their emotions so freely. We can all learn from them in this way. Yet, we also need to teach them about the world, so they can feel safe and thrive. It is up to us to model and explicitly teach expectations. The clearer we can be with children, the better. Giving some structured choice and control to children makes them feel empowered and that their opinions are valued. On the contrary, giving them full control makes them feel overwhelmed and frazzled. Children haven’t had the life experiences yet or gained the knowledge to make all the decisions themselves. They need guidance and support.
Types of Family Routines
You’re already familiar with many common routines: homework, chores, dinnertime, bedtime, or getting ready for school. Yet, a routine that often is not prioritized is a routine for expressing feelings, sharing thoughts about the experiences children face, and teaching children how to handle challenges. This is where the RAISE Routine comes in. We recommend bringing in this routine at least once a week, or more if the opportunity presents itself.
What is the RAISE Routine?
We teach you how to create a safe space for discussion in your home, build opening and closing rituals, facilitate healthy discussions with your child, and engage your child in topic-related, hands on activities. This easy to use, step-by-step routine helps build consistency and structure for your child, so he/she feels safe sharing feelings. When we create structure for children, they know what is expected of them. This builds feelings of safety, so they can more comfortably be open, honest, and expressive.
Tools for Creating a Safe Space
Creating a safe space in your home to engage in the RAISE Routine is the first step to success. Children will look forward to your family gathering in this cozy, inviting space.
Learn More with Our RAISE Routine Freebie!
Download our printable RAISE Routine Freebie to learn about each step of the routine, read research on why following routines benefits children, learn how to talk to your child about routines, and find journal prompts and coloring pages to inspire children to engage in routines. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter in order to download the freebie, and get started practicing the RAISE Routine with your family!