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Children's Routines

Soccer Practice

I didn't support our children having more than one major out of school activity at a time, each. Because it impacted on family time we used to build positive relationships.

If  the only people your kids are having fun with are outside the house, are your kids more likely to want to spend time at home or not?


For example gymnastics was three afternoons a week at one stage. It was when it was required to attend two morning before school and Saturdays as well as the three afternoons a week I decided it was too much of a family commitment to continue, especially as my eldest son was going into a Selective High School where there was a lot of additional homework too.

  • Children generally benefit from the predictability and structure routines offer

  • Routines provide the organization to support children's health, schooling and their interests

  • Limiting afternoon activities to one major commitment per child allows families to run more smoothly: e.g healthy meals, homework, time to maintain positve relationships

  • Routines support child independence, positive behaviour, organizational skills and autonomy

Chemistry Students
Homework Help

The fact my husband was unable to drive, but worked full-time, meant I spent a lot of time driving everyone to and from school and work.

We had one rule in the house during these years... and it was co-operate. And it applied equally to all of us.

Most of the time it worked well. Natural consequences occurred when it didn't work that way.

For example, if my kids chose not to cooperate in the mornings, I had less time available to play in the afternoons. 

T.V. and computer time was a privilege in our household, not a right.

I certainly didn't get to watch it if my jobs weren't done.

I remember my Year 1 son being asked to get his home reader. But instead of being cooperative he dragged his heels. After fifteen minutes we were still having a power struggle.

The next day I explained he had fifteen minutes before his favourite show came on the T.V. If he went and got his reader, and did his ten minutes of reading, he'd get to watch all of his show.


But he chose not to cooperate.

Home Theater Family
Playing Videogames

Plus I explained I wasn't being a good mother if I let him behave irresponsibly, and not learn to read. It was his responsibility, every day, to get his home reader and come to me ready to read. And he had to do it before the TV went on.


The next afternoon I did the exact same thing, with the same time constraints, and he read within the time frame perfectly.

Not only did he get to watch his show every afternoon as he wished, but by the end of the year he became one of the best readers in his class, winning the Academic Excellence Award.

Reading became an absolute joy in his life because he used it to independently read whatever he wanted. And initially adhering to a regular routine made it possible.

I explained his show was on and he was missing out. But he thought he'd try to negotiate his way out of his responsibility.

He grizzled. 'It's too hard. It isn't fair.' And the time ticked on... After another five minutes of grizzling and whining, he saw I wasn't going to give in.

I explained that he had to learn to read, and it was his responsibility. It was my job to help but I couldn't do it for him.

My husband and I had learnt to read. His older brother had learnt to read. And he knew to read the level of books he wanted to, he needed to learn to read himself.


Cooperative kids can help make family life a real joy.

For more Best Starts and Parent Self-Care Strategies go to the following links below:

Best Parenting is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. It highlights what successful parents do differently to those who struggle. Best Parenting provides free online resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice on: how to give kids a best start in life, better tips for parenting toddlers, effective child rearing strategies, behaviour management tips, successful goal setting and organizational strategies for successful families, easy family dinner recipes, self-care tips for time-poor parents and free kids learning games. The aim of Best Parenting is to provide quality practical parenting tips and advice to best help children and families succeed, using the convenience of a website.

This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.


Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

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