To routine or not to routine?

United States
April 24, 2007 11:07am CST
My aunt and I had our first children about a year apart. She is very strict on her daughters routine and I am very very laid back. Her daughter gets up, eats, plays, bathes, and goes to bed at the exact same time everyday. Mine, well, with one of them in school we do get up at the same time now, but most everything else is laid back. We generally do things about the same time, but come on,.. are you hungry at the exact same time everyday? Her daughter flips out when something comes up that effects her "schedule" while mine go with the flow... maybe the best is somewhere in the middle here... any thoughts?
6 people like this
18 responses
• United States
24 Apr 07
I agree... It is so different for every child since all children are soooo different. I am finding that my 7 month old - he is actaully turning 8 months tomorrow is very laid back. It may have to do with the fact that I fed him on his schedule - not mine... your right- i am not hungry at the same time every day- how can he be. We have a "soft routine" for the day. He wakes up, eats, plays, bathes- all within and hour or two difference each day. I think the flexibility is helping him learn that things dont always go to plan and that he can't always have everything "right now". I dont know that there is a right or wrong- I think we all just do the best we can... ~at home mommy~ http://mommyathomefornow.blogspot.com www.personalgrowthresources.net
2 people like this
• United States
24 Apr 07
I sooo agree! My cousin isn't going to come to the family cookout this weekend because her kids nap at noon and that's when we are planning on eating! It's our grandma's birthday!
@vanities (11387)
• Davao, Philippines
25 Apr 07
Planning some activities who may later on become a routine in ones life especilly on growing up children is fine and good, which means they have to do it.. especially on the eating schedule which for me is a very important routine in our life..but at the same time one must be able to adjust or adapt any interruptions along the way of the routines you have followed and be flexible except for food i guess..
• United States
25 Apr 07
We have a sort of schedule with Nick, but that is mostly due to our own schedules. He goes to daycare by 8qam on monday through Thursday and then I pick him up at about 4pm when I wake up again. After that the schedule is basically we eat at between 5 and 7pm and he goes to bed around 8 because that is when he gets too crnky to stay up any longer. On Friday thru Sunday things are very laid back. Friday we usually go grocery shopping then the rest of the day is doing whatever we want. If it isn't raining we spend a lot of time outside. We keep Nick wearing sunscreen but I generally don't myself. So to answer your question we do kind of have a routine but it isn't set in stone or anything.
2 people like this
@Arkadus (899)
• Canada
25 Apr 07
Hey if it works for the kid I don't see the problem. Some people enjoy having a place for everything and everything in it's place. The laid back attitude isn't universal, though things would be a lot better in the world if it were. To some extent anyway.
2 people like this
@maddysmommy (16235)
• United States
25 Apr 07
I tried but I would always get stressed out because my son wouldn't follow the schedule so I gave up. I just make sure when he gets up in the mornings, he has breaky, brushes his teeth, changes his clothes, do whatever we both want to do for the day if it means going to the park or to the library, or run errands then we go ahead and do it, sometimes I ask him what he feels like doing for the day too, in the evenings, i would cook dinner, roughly around 7.30-8ish bathe, into pjs, read a couple of books or sing a few songs, brush his teeth and then to bed ..so yeah i would say i'm very laid back with his schedule too. Sometimes we have breaky at brunch time, and or dinner in the late afternoon, all depends on what time we both feel like eating.
@tater03 (1765)
• United States
24 Apr 07
I would think that to much routine could stress a child out if the routine has to be changed for some reason. I have some routine but it is not written in stone and it does change. The one routine that doesn't seem to change a whole lot would be the bedtime routine.
2 people like this
@Stiletto (4584)
24 Apr 07
Personally I think somewhere in the middle is the best way. Babies and young children do need a certain degree of routine in their lives I think and they usually respond well to it. At the most basic level a baby can't look at the clock and know that it's getting near bedtime but if they're used to having a bath shortly before bedtime that acts as a signal for them. I mean really the same is true for adults isn't it? Most of us function better if there is at least some regularity/routine in our daily lives. There again you can be too regimented about it. It's not good to adopt a routine that's so strict there's no give in it at all which is obviously the case with your aunt and that's why her daugher flips out if anything upsets her routine.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Apr 07
If anyone has any ideas on how to convince my husband that "light" routines aren't a bad thing I'd love to hear it! HA HA HA
1 person likes this
@Stiletto (4584)
24 Apr 07
lol - get your aunt to have a word with him and see if she can convince him!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Apr 07
I don't think I could function on such a strict schedule I mean life changes everyday. However, here we do have a basic schedule like wake up and bedtime. Most times dinner is on the table around 6:00pm because that is when we all seem to be ready to eat. I think that have things on a basic routine instead of a strict no matter what routine is better and healthier for the family. There would be so much less stress.
1 person likes this
@maryannemax (12170)
• Sweden
25 Apr 07
yup. just as i said, it's okey to be laid back but be laid back still being responsible in all matters. there are routines we can follow everyday but being strict to all of them won't make life better.
@maryannemax (12170)
• Sweden
25 Apr 07
i don't go much with routines. especially when it comes to eating meals. i have different hours of "hungry" moments each day. so, better to eat when you really want to and not eat because it's a routine at all. i think it's better to be a bit laid back but not to the point of setting important things aside. i mean, be laid back but still be responsible, right? it's better to live in a comfortable way than in a strict environment where everything you should do is in a book and a part of the routine. there's no more mystery in your life by doing so. excitement is no longer there. anne
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Apr 07
I think there should be somewhat of a schedule but not so strictly adhered to that when there is a change it upsets a child. There should be some flexability in the schedule. I am a laid back person so when something changes in the schedule it is no big deal.
1 person likes this
@mari123 (1862)
• China
25 Apr 07
a little children cann't run their routine,so as a child's mom or father,you should give their order to schedule what to do or when to do,house work is a important thing you child can do when she is 6 years old,but you child should learn how to do the work what you aunt's daughter can do ,for example,get up ,eat ,play,and all so.if you child cann't do that ,and she must be fit in social.
1 person likes this
@bad1981 (799)
• United States
25 Apr 07
I totally understand what you mean. My sister is so strict on her sons schedule and wont let anything affect it, her son goes crazy when something is out of order with his schedule. Sometimes it drives me nuts but if she can live with it thats fine. With my kids, I go with the flow because thats the way that I was when I was little. My kids nap everyday and eat, but just not at set times. We do just fine this way too. I say whatever works for a specific person go with it...but I will do what works best for my home.
1 person likes this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
25 Apr 07
I believe that somewhere in the middle makes for the happiest homes. The theory behind having a schedule that you keep with kids is so that children know what to expect from each day and do not need to cry for what they need because they have a general idea when they will be getting it. Children need to know that schedules change once in a while for important things like celebrating grandma's birthday. I think your aunt is doing her children a disservice by not teaching them to cope with life's little changes. You will have happier more well adjusted children on the whole.
1 person likes this
@mememama (3077)
• United States
24 Apr 07
I follow my sons lead. Somedays he wants lunch at 10 am, sometimes it's noon. Sometimes he wants to nap at 11, sometimes 2. I can't imagine telling him, no you can't eat until noon or you can't sleep until 1. He has kind of set his own pattern, so I just go with the flow from that.
1 person likes this
@mrbranan (1012)
• United States
24 Apr 07
I think it is nice to have a schedule but that you should be stricked with it. I think that if you have a tight scheduled they do have a problem when things change.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Apr 07
I have my kids on what I call a loose routine I try to get them up the same time and put them to bed the same time all that kind of stuff. I also understand that they may want to sleep in a little wich is fine with me and as you said they may not always be hungry the same time. My kids are pretty good with going with the flow if they want some thing and I can't give it to them at that moment they are good about waiting till I can get them what they want.
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
25 Apr 07
while schedules are important for kids (they need to have a sense of order) i think being spontanious is better...life throws many things your way and is totally unpredicable, you need to be prepared on how to deal with it. we are fairly strict in regards to bedtime on school nights but allow our girls (10 and almost 14) to stay up later and we do alot of family things on the spur of the moment (heck we even make supper that way lol)
• Canada
25 Apr 07
I think in the middle is good. That's where I fall with my son. He's 9 months old. We get up whenever he gets up - since I'm not back at work yet - then an hour or so after he gets up he has breakfast. We go to the gym, or he naps depending on how much sleep he got. He eats lunch at around the same time everyday, but not exactly. Then naps around the same time, but again not exactly. Dinner, and bedtime is approximate too! Too much of a schedule can cause stress, but I think no routine, or no schedule at all can cause stress too.