Home » Are Your Family’s Routines Working?

Are Your Family’s Routines Working?

Have an evening or morning routine that isn’t working for you? You aren’t alone! This week, Christine helps Lindsay “re-engineer” her family’s dinnertime and bedtime routines so that there is more happiness and connection–and less yelling. Part 1 of a 2 part series.

Special thanks to the Quality of Life Foundation, which made this series possible.

Cross posted from the Greater Good Science Center .


  1. Melanie says:

    I love this new video series!  This one has a lot of great ideas.  One thing I would like to explore further is the after lights out time.  You mention Lindsay can go back to work when lights are out.  Not so at my house.   I have kids that WILL NOT stay in bed or just go to sleep (and they are not babies, they are 7 and 9).  In my case, my kids get a structured bedtime routine with at least 30 minutes of reading, some parent “talking time” and a meditation and a song.  But they still won’t stay in their beds. Then I get very cranky and turn into the bad parent using a mean tone and threatening to punish them! Help! 

    • I’m so glad you are enjoying the videos! Not knowing anything about your family’s situation (you may need a parenting coach), I’d recommend a similar approach: small steps towards a larger goal. Maybe right now you need to stay in your kids room for 30 minutes (my instinct is to not give them the opportunity to get out of bed) while they fall asleep (this is where an iPad comes in handy – try to enjoy some reading time). Next week, 25 minutes. After that, 20 minutes, decreasing the amount of time you are in there gradually until they are falling asleep on their own. Make sure that everyone knows what the big end goal is (they fall asleep on their own) and why (mom gets very angry and frustrated, etc.). Good luck!

  2. Merrill Milani4 says:

    Thank you for this video series and I look forward to watching more.  Our problem in the evening is my children, ages 7 and 9, just take so so long to get ready for bed (bathe, teeth, etc) as they chit chat, get distracted in their rooms, and it always crunches us for time for reading which is a very important, special time each night.  I don’t always have the ability to start dinner earlier as some days there are activities that occur late afternoon / early evening.  Sometimes I have one of my children bathe before dinner when there is time and that helps.  But ultimately I would love it if they would both focus on their jobs and get them done in a timely manner so we are sure to have plenty of time for reading (bedtime is bedtime so that doesn’t get bumped out).  Thank you for any suggestions!

    • Focus on doing one small thing faster at a time. First, time each task (putting pajamas on, brushing teeth, etc.) without them knowing. Then, present the goal to the kids (e.g., get ready for bed in 15 minutes). Then break out a habit tracker, and work on one task at a time. Maybe they got distracted, and last night it took 15 minutes to get pjs on, and your goal for the week is for them to do it in 5 minutes or less. Time them all week, but also be there, helping them focus and reminding them of their goal. Gradually add additional tasks, while continuing to time the others. It will require a lot of focus on your part, but in the end they’ll be in the habit of not getting distracted. Good luck!

Comments are closed.