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Can routine change my Child - Live life with your kids - Issue 041
February 01, 2008
Hi! ....

Welcome to Live life with your Kids Newsletter!

Since I am writing this newsletter at the beginning of our week, getting it ready to send out to you later on, I don’t really know what wonderful educational experiences we'll have yet! We are going away for a family mini-holiday, grabbing four days to relax as a family and for Peter and I to have some talk-time, to review goals and plans for the coming year. So I am sure the kids' week will be full of swimming, reading, games and a few DVDs.

Last weekend was a Homeschool Mum’s Retreat for the local homeschool Mums. Six mums spent the day in one of the family homes, chatting and encouraging each other in the various challenges that we find as homeschoolers. It was a rich time, with so many encouraging things shared, lots of ideas and most importantly a confirmation that we are all there for each other. I will be sharing some of these thoughts in the coming weeks on my website.

Be a Deliberate Parent
Can Routine change my Child's Behaivour

Why have routines in our day? Though routines don’t come natural to me I have come to enjoy the benefits but for some people routines are binding and limiting. Lets look at why we would want a routine, what to have in our routine and how to get into a routine.

First of all what is routine. Routine is not working to a schedule – there is a difference. A schedule keeps you to a timetable – like a train. A routine is a habit, it gives security, you know what is going to happen, and there are fewer surprises, a feeling of more in control. The clock rules a schedule; a routine is ruled by habit and order.

I came across this little excerpt from a book called “Habits of the Heart” by Kathy Babbitt. This is what she wrote…

“Some people continuously act on impulse, grabbing at whatever seems attractive at the moment. Now some spontaneity is healthy; but when we face all of life with a senseless striving to satisfy our impulses, we defeat ourselves.
“Sometimes we do what we do to escape what we perceive to be more threatening, demanding or painful…
“We need to make conscious decisions in order to change. Our aim is to develop godly habits that result in godly living.”

This last sentence reminds me of the reason we have routines. To give us and our children the tools required to develop godly habits.

Once we have decided that we need to have routine in our lives, and in our children’s lives we then need to decide what needs to be in that routine.

Jesus grew in both wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Luke 2:52

This gives us a guide for the different areas of both our lives and our children’s lives. Jesus grew in character (wisdom), physical development (stature), spiritual development (favour with God) and social development (favour with man). In another part of scripture it talks of Jesus astounding the teachers of his day – he grew in knowledge also. We need to allow time in our day for all of these areas to develop. (Just a little note on the side here – we cannot teach our children anything we are not modeling ourselves – is my life showing growth in these areas too – character, physical, spiritual, social and knowledge? We need to be an example to our children; we need to have discipline, routine and growth in our lives first.)

I believe that children find security in a routine. The lack of routine can sometimes lead to undesirable behaviour. I’ve listed some negative behaviours, how routine could possibly alter that behaviour and the godly habit that we would want to develop. I would hope that this list (not complete by any means) would get your mind thinking of how a routine could help you direct your child away from negative behavioural patterns and towards Godly habits.

  • Frequent tantrums, whining – a routine takes away multiple choices and therefore disappointments which often result in tantrums (not getting their own way). If a child knows (through habit) that after breakfast they have some room time then they won’t argue for TV.time (as much!!). Godly habit to develop – rejoicing in all circumstances, submitting to authority
  • Inappropriate or aggressive behaviour – A routine that gives a child some quiet time by themselves may teach them the privilege of playing and respecting others. Godly habit to develop – love others as Christ has also loved, kindness, brotherly love
  • Constant demands – a routine will form in the child a habit of entertaining themselves and not needing to be entertained. Godly habit to develop – being a good steward of time, talents and abilities
  • Not sleeping – a routine will establish a healthy balance between being awake and active and getting the correct amount of sleep. A routine will stop a child from being over-stimulated and therefore finding it hard to get to sleep. Godly habit to develop– looking after the temple of God (our bodies)
  • A lack of concentration – a routine will enable a child to find a balance between concentrating activities and active activities. Godly habit to develop – be still to hear God’s voice

There are many behaviour challenges we face as parents. We must ask ourselves do our children have too many options. Who is in control of their day – them or us, the parent? We must remember that when a child can function within those limits they earn freedoms – if they can function with no choices for their activities then they will eventually earn the freedom of choice.

When my children were young I divided my day into different “times” – Play time, tape time, sit time, devotion time, talk time, family time, room time and the like. This is a great way of starting to plan out a routine for your family. Look at the skills you want your child to master, work out the best tool to apply and then arrange your day accordingly. These days my blocks of time are bigger and there are less of them: Relationship time, Responsibilities, Talents, Study time, Family time (though it is technically Relationship time we make a distinction from the relational time we spend with God) and Personal time.

None of this comes easy. I am reminded of my first quote “Sometimes we do what we do to escape what we perceive to be more threatening, demanding or painful…” Do we continue to live without limiting our children’s choices of activities because we perceive the battle to be too difficult; we perceive the commitment to be too demanding? Raising children who have the self-control to learn godly habits takes commitment to the difficult tasks. Parenting requires commitment – are we prepared to pay the price. Are we willing to pay the price to get order into our daily activities so that we can proactively teach our children godly habits? We can’t afford not to!

Website updates and Blog:

This week I was awarded the E is for Excellent Blog Award which has given me a great opportunity to, in turn, recognize other blogs whom I enjoy reading. So check out other homeschool mums who have some great encouragements to read at my Homeschool Blog Links.

You can keep up-to-date with any new additions by visiting Lifestyle Homeschool Blog throughout the week.

Or browse Lifestyle Homeschool by using My Sitemap to find an article that answers your family situation.

If you would like to see some photos of what is going on in our home, visit my Homeschool Blogger blog Belinda's Notes.

Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter Knowing that homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, this newsletter comes out in small portions – one portion every week.
  • Being a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Using Resources in our Life – Spotlight on a particular resource and notes on how to use this in your life (not in a school room)
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • Beyond the Quote – Take a moment to really think about that quote!
  • For those who are not into RSS feeds yet, the newsletter will serve to keep you updated with Lifestyle-Homeschool

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