A Fresh Start: 3 Quick Rules to Reboot Family Organization and Routine

By Elaine Tan Comeau, CEO and founder of Easy Daysies

The start of a new year is a great time to check that your family is moving forward as best as they can. There’s nothing that gives a parent more satisfaction then to see their kids happy and successful from the moment they wake up, to the time they put their little heads down on a pillow.

Here are three quick “rules” to help boost your family's routine and organization. They come from my years of experience of being an elementary school teacher. These “rules” target a child's success not only in the classroom, but in the home as well.

Rule 1: Co-operation and independence is found in routine

Having reliable and consistent routines is fundamental for a successful day. The key is to establish consistent routines in the home. Let your child know what you expect of them in the morning, after school, and at bedtime. For example, a morning routine might include your child brushing their teeth, getting dressed, having breakfast and going to school. When routines are present and consistent, a child will be more co-operative and independent because they feel safe and confident, all because they know what is going to happen next.

Rule 2: Contain the clutter

It’s amazing how happy and calm we feel when our home is clean and tidy. The principle of “a place for everything and everything in its place” holds a lot of merit for how a child functions. As a school teacher, I make sure that not only the classroom is tidy and in order, but so are the inside of my students' desks. This way they can easily find what they need when they need it, and an anxious-free environment is created.

At home one of our rules is to put items back where they belong. You can label bins or have a bin for each child if they have multiple activities, this way they can find what they are looking for without having to sort through their siblings' stuff.

Rule 3: Concentrate on healthy feeding for the mind and belly 

A happy and healthy child is every parent's goal. Their overall health is a result of what we feed them both physically and mentally. What I mean is if they’re eating sugary junk foods and staying up late, expect them to be tired and unfocused. Make it a house rule to not have the television on during school nights and watch how quickly your kids will find productive things to do. “Feeding” the mind with playing, reading and creating are much better for the brain than staring at a television.

You can also help your kids have stress-free mornings by taking a few minutes each night to pack lunches, put homework and notices in their backpacks, and lay out their clothing for the next day. And remember to start your kids off with a good breakfast. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast perform better at school, behave better, and are more alert and energetic. Breakfast can be quick and simple such as toast with peanut butter and bananas, oatmeal, or cereal with milk and fruit.

Ultimately, happy and healthy kids mean happy and content homes.

Elaine is a mother of three young children, a wife, a former elementary school teacher, an award winning entrepreneur, and CEO and founder of Easy Daysies Ltd., a multi-award winning product line, and Dragons' Den Winner.

By Val Outmezguine

February 07, 2014