Being a mother to kids aged 8 and 12 is no walk in the park. This is the stage where they’re not yet teenagers, but they already have their own personalities andpr are bound to make some choices on their own. It’s an interesting but truly challenging stage. I often wonder if I can really trust that they’ll do what they’re supposed to do with minimal supervision from me.
Apart from knowing they can be independent when it comes to their daily activities, it’s also important to know that they’re keeping busy not only with their own stuff (homework, online time with friends, or household chores) but also with other important matters, such as devotions, physical activities, and family bonding.
While you would want your kids to enjoy some freedom and go with the flow, it’s also important that they have a daily schedule to follow. Can this work for both you and your children?
Our daily schedule pre-pandemic
Before the COVID-19 pandemic happened, our routine was a typical one. My kids woke up early in the morning, prepared for school, spent most of the days at school, came home, studied their lessons, ate dinner, and finished their day with me tucking them in bed. This had been our routine for years, and I believed it was the only one that could work for us.
Everything seemed to change when the pandemic came. My kids were at home 24/7 and doing their own little thing with no structure or rules. It was just like a come-what-may kind of thing. I realized that should not be the case, and we had to do something about it.
The importance of daily schedule for kids
A daily schedule for your school-aged kids will not only ensure that the work is done but also give you the confidence that your children enjoy a work-play balance.
Parents tend to overdo everything, including dictating to their kids how things should be done and when. This will affect the quality of the children’s work in the long run. For instance, the chores you have assigned might be “half done” because your kids’ priority is to finish whatever task you have set them.
Daily schedule and your kids’ health
Aside from the work-play balance, having a daily routine for your kids will also be extremely important for their health. You can include some physical activities, such as light exercises that can be done at home, like dancing or jumping jacks. They can even stream kid-friendly simple exercise videos on YouTube.
If they are into sports, they can do simple drills that don’t require a lot of space. You can also combine household chores and physical activities if you have your kids gardening, cleaning the yard, or cleaning the windows. Talk about hitting 2 birds with 1 stone.
In addition to including your kids’ fitness in their daily schedule, you can also make sure that they have enough sleep through night routines. Now that kids are home most of the time, they stay up late on their digital devices and get up after their usual hours. Their sleeping patterns become irregular, which can eventually lead to behavioral problems. Having a good nightly schedule will also ensure a healthy morning routine.
Daily schedule and your kids’ creativity
If you have school-aged kids, you may notice that they easily get bored. Maybe it’s because they spend most of their time doing things outside your home or virtually, in the latter case possibly exceeding the recommended screen time.
The question now is how you can keep your kids busy without having to resort to the use of gadgets.
You can actually include their hobbies in their daily schedule. If your school-aged kids are musically inclined, you may get them online lessons in the instrument they’re interested in or hire a voice coach to help them develop their talent.
If your kids are into visual arts, you can set a time for them to grab some paper and colored pens and draw whatever they feel like drawing. You may take virtual tours of museums to learn about and appreciate the different works of art.
It’s essential to have a daily schedule for school-aged kids because it’s more than a list of what they have to accomplish during the day. For you as a parent, it’s a clear indication that your children are not only capable of doing their tasks independently but also enjoying their day-to-day activities. After all, they’re still kids who want to have fun and learn new things that they can use later in life.
Following the daily schedule
When preparing your kids’ daily schedule, it’s important to get them involved, too. You can ask them what activities they want to include and see whether these can work with your family dynamics.
You could also have your children create their own routines, which can give them an overview of what needs to be done and teach them the value of independence and responsibility. They can hang it in their rooms as a gentle reminder of what they’re expected to do based on your agreed daily schedule. A printable daily schedule is easy to find online, and you can enjoy preparing it as a family.
While you would want your kids to follow their schedule as much as possible, it’s also important to know that sometimes, flexibility is key. It’s okay if your kids occasionally miss a certain task for the day, take longer to finish a specific activity, or spend less time on another. As long as your family consistently follows the routine, a miss or a change once in a while wouldn’t really affect your kids’ routine.