Kids thrive on routine. While too much routine can become dull, a little goes a long way, especially if your parents have recently divorced. These are some of the benefits of keeping to a routine:
- Gives security and reduces stress: When so much in a child’s life is changing, it helps them to know some things stay the same. Routines allow kids to retain a level of control over their life. They may not know how everything will work out, but they know that they make cookies on Saturday and go to bed at 8 p.m., regardless of which house they are in.
- Set boundaries and reduce arguments: Divorce is an emotional time for everyone; parents and kids. It can be easy to let these emotions spill over into disputes with your child about silly things like brushing their teeth, doing homework, or watching a TV show. By setting rules and boundaries, you can avoid these discussions. The children will know what you expect of them and what they can and cannot do.
Try to coordinate with your ex-spouse to keep important routines the same where possible. If one parent sets bedtime at 8 p.m. and the other at 10 p.m., it can create friction and disturb the child’s stability.
Not that life needs be identical in each household. With time, a child can enjoy the differences between each home, as long as the habits are not contradictory. Creating a parenting plan helps you make the routines clear for everyone.