How do your mornings feel? Do you wake up relaxed and ready to take on the day? No? I didn’t think so.
Let’s get to the bottom of this. Have you ever asked yourself why? Why don’t your mornings feel good? Why don’t your mornings run smoothly? And why don’t you have time to enjoy your breakfast, fit in a workout, or chat calmly with your kids?
I think I know the answer. Are you ready for it? I think it’s because your family doesn’t have a strong morning routine. Or if you do, I bet you don’t stick to it.
Are you unsure as to if your family needs a morning routine? Let me help you out…
Here are 3 Signs Your Family Needs a Smooth Morning Routine
You Can’t Stop Yelling
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” But, how often do you feel that way? I’m talking waking up super irritable, snapping at your partner and kids, and walking around your house yelling.
You yell to get your kids out of bed, you yell to get your kids to eat more quickly, you yell to get the kids out the door. So. Much. Yelling. No wonder you woke up grumpy – I’d be grumpy, too if I knew that’s what I had to look forward to.
You and/or Your Kids Can’t Find Things or Leave Important Things at Home
Picture this, you pull up to the school and the kids are ready to pile out of your car when one of them realizes they never grabbed their lunch. Or how about this, you arrive home after school drop off to find your child’s homework on the kitchen counter. Or, you pull up to the office after you drop the kids off, go to hop out of the car and realize you completely forgot your laptop.
Do these scenarios happen often? Maybe more often than you’re proud to admit? If you’re nodding YES – you need a morning routine.
Once You Drop Your Kids Off, You Need Time to Calm Down
Now, how long does it take you to bounce back after morning drop-off? You know, how much time passes before your heart rate returns to normal and you can get your brain focused on what you need to do that day? 5 minutes? Maybe longer?
Do you need to do something to separate your mind and your day from all of that morning chaos? Like go for a walk, workout, take a shower, or just close your eyes and count to 10?
If you’ve got a morning routine that is working, you won’t need time to decompress before jumping into your day.
What We Did to Tame Our Morning Mania
I’m proud to say that my family has a functional and smooth morning routine. But, it wasn’t always that way. I used to spend my mornings yelling at the kids and forgetting things at the house. By the time we were all set, I felt drained. And it wasn’t even 8 AM yet!
We knew we couldn’t keep going like we were. Something needed to change. So, we enlisted the help of a professional. That help came in the form of a survival guide from Positive Parenting Solutions called Taming Morning Mania.
This survival guide equipped us with five simple and practical tools we needed to get our mornings under control. We got to the root of what was causing the chaos in our mornings and we were able to develop a functional morning routine that was unique to our family’s schedule and needs.
What Our Routine Looks Like Now
Now, I’m proud to say our morning runs super smoothly. No yelling, no forgetting things, no feeling drained before the day even begins. We made a few simple changes to our routine, thanks to the Taming Morning Mania survival guide we got from our friends at Positive Parenting Solutions.
We implemented 3 big changes in our mornings. Now, we make decisions the night before, we put our kids in charge of their own wake-up, and we established a backpack ready zone in our living room. If you’d like the full scoop on what our morning routine looks like and how it works for us, check out this blog post.
If you’d like support setting up your own family morning routine, let’s chat about 1:1 coaching and I’ll help you set up systems and routines that will work for your unique family. Looking for more info on the Taming Morning Mania program through Positive Parenting Solutions? Check this out!
We know that helping our kids develop realistic routines and good habits is high priority. But, knowing we should and actually setting a system in place are two completely different things.
We want our kids to learn responsibility and accountability so that they can establish positive habits, stick to daily routines and eventually become fully functioning independent adults. It’s okay to know what you want for your kids but not be 100% sure of how to make it a reality.
Don’t worry, I’m here to help you get on the right path to forming realistic routines with responsible and accountable independent kids! In this post, we’ll talk about why routines are important, how to plan a realistic routine for your family and actually achieve it, and we’ll talk about what tasks or chores are appropriate for your kids at each age.
Why are routines important?
Routines are important for both individuals and families. For individuals, establishing routines can make you feel more in control and focused. For a family, it can create a calm living atmosphere where everyone contributes for the common good. Everyone knows their role to play, what to do and when to do it. Family members depend on each other and trust that each member will contribute.
Without a set routine, habits just don’t stick. Research shows that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. Imagine how smooth your household will run if you simply take 3 weeks to help your kids establish healthy, responsibility building habits in your home.
How do you make your dream routine a reality?
- First, visualize what a well run home looks like to you. This will be different for each family – it’s okay if your well run home is different from mine, it’s all about finding what works for your family.
- Ask yourself what needs to change and what needs to happen daily, weekly, and monthly in order for your house to run smoothly.
- Consider which of those tasks can be done by each child based on their age, physical abilities, and maturity level. Scroll down to the next section for a list of general age-appropriate tasks.
- Figure out what motivates your kids. Is it money, gifts, more screen time? Decide what you will use as motivation and what your children will need to do to earn it.
- Hold a family meeting where you explain very clearly to your kids what your new routine will look like. Let the kids know what they will need to do, how often, and what they will earn by doing it.
- Get started. Don’t slack off – remember it takes 21 days to form a habit! Put in the hard work at the beginning and eventually (sooner rather than later) you’ll be able to back off and watch your kids take accountability for their own tasks.
- Be patient and flexible but remain consistent. Each week, evaluate how you can support your child and determine if anything could have been done differently or more effectively.
- Sit back and watch with pride as your household runs smoothly, your children take responsibility for their chores and take pride in their contributions to the household. Enjoy the peace of mind you now have knowing that your child can stand on his/her own two feet!
At what age can my kids start to get involved?
A while back, I asked some fellow moms in a mom group what tasks their kids help with or chores they do and what their ages are. The following is a list of age-appropriate chores starting with 2-year-olds. Yes, two is not too early to start with simple tasks and routines around the house! This helps to build responsibility and accountability at an early age.
- Put dishes in the sink
- Put laundry in the hamper
- Help feed pets
- Help with sweeping and dusting
- Put things in the trash can
- Sort items
- Help push buttons
- Put away toys and books
- Set the table
- Help clear the table
- Straighten their room
- Help put laundry in the washer
- Clean up after playing, reading, or crafting
- Keep bedroom neat
- Clear the table
- Switch laundry from the washer to dryer
- Take laundry out of the dryer
- Make bed
- Feed pets
- Empty dishwasher
- Take care of pets
- Do their own laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away)
- Load and unload the dishwasher
- Wash dishes
- Mop floors
- Clean baseboards
- Take out the trash and recycling
- Pull weeds and rake leaves
- Clean and organize their own bedroom
Are you ready to set realistic routines in your home by implementing a family chore routine in your home but you just don’t know how to get started or get yourself organized? We’ve got you covered! Grab our totally FREE Family Chore and Money System Action Guide and we will walk you through the step-by-step process of designing, implementing, and sticking to a plan that works for your family.
As our kids grow up and find their way through life, there are certain life skills that they learn and develop. I like to think of these skills like a ladder. You can’t jump from the first rung to the 5th rung, you need to take it one step at a time. Learning life skills is a lot like that.
On the life skills ladder, I view the first two steps as “needs”. These are the things kids need to learn before they can move on. These “needs” are at the bottom of the ladder because they are necessary to learn before kids can develop the “wants”. Wants are the good habits that lead to our kids eventually becoming self-sufficient and independent.
Now, I don’t imagine that kids hop on the ladder and climb up with no problems. It’s more like if you start up the ladder, realize you forgot your paint brush, go back down a few rungs to grab it, take a step back up, then realize you need your tape, go back down, and so on. It’s a constant up and down as kids grow and go through the phases of life.
The ultimate goal, though, is that our kids will make it to the final rung of the Life Skills Ladder – independence – by the time they enter the world as adults. This is how to get them there.
What every kid needs to learn:
When introducing life skills to your kids, the first skill that’s needed is responsibility. You can teach your child responsibility through chores, jobs, and pay day.
Look at your daily life and make a list of things your kids could do each day. Start with simple tasks. You can also look at your week and decide what needs to be done each week. You can assign each task a reward. This would be monetary or something like screen time.
Assigning certain tasks to your child that have a definite deadline and reward begins to teach them about responsibility.
Once your child has taken responsibility for their own tasks and jobs, they are ready to learn about accountability. This is learned through consistency, encouragement, reinforcement, and discipline.
When your child is learning to be accountable, it’s important to take things slow and be flexible. Check in each week to evaluate what worked and what didn’t work. Determine how things are going and if you could have offered support in a better or different way. This is a process that won’t happen overnight.
What every parent wants for their kids:
Eventually your child’s new responsibilities and accountability will lead to the establishment of positive habits and routines. This is what you wanted all along. This was the goal!
You’ll notice that your home is more organized, the household is streamlined, and everyone involved has a better grasp of time management. Good habits and routines form slowly, they take time, so don’t rush the process. Over time, as your child takes on more responsibility and accountability, the tasks require less nagging and oversight from you in order for them to be completed.
This leads to happier kids, less stressed parents, more time for what matters, and a smoothly run household.
The final step on the life skills ladder is independence. This step is where your child becomes self-sufficient, empowered, and confident. They have a positive relationship with work and money. In addition, along the way, they’ve learned to be generous with their time and money.
Most importantly, you as a parent have peace of mind knowing that your child or children can stand on their own two feet.
Not Sure Where to Start?
Are you ready to implement a family chore system in your home but you just don’t know how to get started or get yourself organized? We’ve got you covered! We’ve devised an action plan for establishing a chore system and budget WITH your kids. It walks your kids through the steps of developing responsibility and accountability in order to establish positive habits and routines to become independent.
You can grab our completely FREE Family Chore and Money System Action Guide, here. You can also hop over to Facebook and watch me walk through how to use it, here. If you’d like even more support, let’s chat about 1:1 coaching and I’ll help you set up a systems and routines that will work for your unique family.⠀
It doesn’t really surprise me when I meet people who don’t budget. I’ve been at it for so long and it’s become such a major part of my life that it’s rare I go a day without thinking about budgeting. But, I wasn’t always like that.
At one point in my life, I was one-half of a newly married couple that was 100K in debt! Deciding to set and stick to a firm budget changed our lives, our relationship, and our future.
If you haven’t yet started budgeting, I’d suggest giving it a shot – especially if you are in one of the following groups!
Budgeting is important for young adults as they begin to navigate life on their own. They’ll be faced with new expenses like student loan payments and possibly rent for the first time.
For many, this is the stage of life where either positive or negative money habits will begin to form. If positive habits form in early adulthood, those habits are likely to remain throughout their lives.
Young adults may begin planning for larger expenses like a wedding, purchasing a first home or car. These are all expenses that are much easier to navigate when budgeted for.
Newly Married Couples
A budget is really helpful for newly married couples because they may be merging bank accounts, spending habits, and even debt for the first time. You could have a situation where one of the partners was a budgeter prior to the coupling and the other wasn’t, where neither has ever followed a budget, or where both are dedicated budgeters.
A newly married couple may be paying off large bills from a wedding and/or honeymoon. They may be considering purchasing a new “Forever” home.
They are at a high risk of falling into poor spending habits as they may now have a newly combined income and the freedom and desire to eat out often, travel freely, and shop at will.
It is especially important to learn budgeting as a newly married couple begins to consider growing their family.
It is beyond necessary for every family to have a budget. Families need to know how much money is coming in and going out each month. When a couple adds kids to the mix, the spending and needs expand. Without a clear picture of what is going where, things can get sticky really fast.
The more people in the family and depending on the ages of the kids, the possibility for unexpected expenses increase.
Additionally, kids are expensive. People don’t just say that to be funny, it’s true! Have you seen the prices for organized sports and summer camps? These are often expenses you’ll need to plan for far in advance.
Other large expenses families need to budget for – travel. The cost of traveling exponentially increases (especially by plane) the more people you add to the family. Your weekly grocery bill will also explode with both an infant (formula and diapers) and teenagers (they eat allllll the food, seriously).
Using budgeting strategies to prepare for these things in advance will keep your family protected in the event of a crisis.
Single adults can also greatly benefit from a set budget. Oftentimes, single adults find themselves supporting themselves as well as dependent children on one income. There may also be a mortgage and car payment to consider.
For a single adult supporting a family on one income, an unexpected crisis can be completely devastating. Having a budget where you regularly add to your savings could be a true life saver.
Even kids should be learning about budgeting! I know they might seem young but I promise you, it will be worth it. The earlier you begin to teach your kids the value of money, the better set up they’ll be in their adult life.
Since my kids were 4 and 6 years old, I’ve had them use piggy banks to start teaching them the concept of earning and saving their money to pay for things. Now that they are 9 and 11, I’m working on introducing the concept of budgeting with them.⠀
I’ve created a great system for us and you can check it out here. I’m sure it will evolve over time but for now, they are learning the basics of what I want them to learn and practice as adults.⠀
When kids learn budgeting strategies at an early age, they will bring those habits with them into adulthood.
I’m guessing you’ve gathered that it’s important for EVERYONE to learn budgeting. If you are looking for assistance in setting up your family budget, I’m here for you! Let’s chat about 1:1 coaching and I’ll help you set up a systems and routines that will work for your unique family.⠀
So, you’ve met that special person, dated, and fallen in love. You trust each other, want to be together 24/7 and do everything together. Ahhhh, young love.
Now you’re faced with that age old question – do you join your bank accounts? Some might even say the decision to join bank accounts is an even more significant commitment than marriage.
Now that you’re part of a couple you might be trying to decide if joint or individual bank accounts are right for you, here are some things to consider:
Joint Bank Accounts
A joint bank account is a bank account that is managed and owned by more than one person. It functions just like a standard account, except it can be accessed and modified by more than one person.
Pros of Joint Bank Accounts
It Makes Things Easier: Having joint accounts with your partner leads to more simplified budgeting and bookkeeping. With everything in one place, you can more easily monitor what’s coming in and what’s going out.
Partnership: Ever heard the saying, “What’s yours is mine”? Well joining bank accounts shows you really mean it! It can also be a way to build and grow something together as a team.
You Can Save on All the Fees: I’m not saying that joint accounts don’t have fees, but with a joint account, you can minimize the number of accounts and therefore the fees.
Cons of Joint Bank Accounts
Secrecy: One major disadvantage of having joint accounts is that, since your partner can always see where/how you are spending money, surprises can be easily spoiled. You’re far less likely to receive a surprise gift, be surprised by a vacation, or have a successful surprise party thrown in your honor. But, I can think of worse things.
Overmanagement or guilt: If one partner is a spender and one is a saver, you may be in more frequent spats, hold grudges, or undergo a power struggle around joint finances.
Messy Breakups: Joint bank accounts can cause really messy situations in a breakup. Be sure of your relationship before joining accounts.
Individual Bank Accounts
An individual account is a personal bank account that is used by an individual. It is for personal banking as opposed to a shared corporate account or joint account.
Pros of Individual Bank Accounts
Maintain Your Independence: Many people feel what they earn is theirs and that they shouldn’t be accountable to a partner for spending their hard earned cash.
Complete Control: With an individual account, you have financial security and complete control over your own financial situation.
Protect Your Assets: If one partner has multiple or higher assets, it may be wise to keep them separate, especially in instances where the other partner carries a lot of debt.
Cons of Individual Bank Accounts
Bill Management: Managing who pays what bill and from what account can get tricky when you are managing a household from individual accounts. It is necessary to make clear what bills get paid, from what account, and by who.
Trust Issues: Trust issues can arise when you are unable to easily view finances, purchases, and income with your partner.
In Case of Emergency: I know, we don’t want to think about this, but having separate accounts can pose some issues if one member of the couple is incapacitated in any way. The partner may have a difficult time gaining access to the accounts.
What works for us.
What works for us might not work for you. My husband and I have all joint accounts. We do things this way because we believe it is all our money. Also, all of our bills and credit cards are in both of our names. It is important to us that we each have full access to all of our finances.
Every relationship and partnership is different, so what works for us might not be what is best for you and your family finances. Be sure you weigh the pros and cons of joint and individual bank accounts before you make the decision for your relationship.
If you are looking for assistance in setting up your family budget, I’m here for you! Let’s chat about 1:1 coaching and I’ll help you set up a systems and routines that will work for your unique family.⠀
In many families, all of the finances, bill paying, and budgeting fall squarely on the shoulders of one family member. I definitely understand that usually one person takes the lead on finances. But it is still so important for so many reasons that all members of the family are involved in money discussions and decisions.
Here are 3 reasons to involve your whole family in budgeting:
Both Spouses Should be in the Know
In any couple, there is usually one person who takes the lead with finances and one person who is happy to hand it all over. It is important that the spouse who is ready to wash their hands of the finances doesn’t completely turn a blind eye. They need to stay in the know!
One very simple, and easy to understand reason both spouses need to know what is going on with your family budget and finances is in case of an emergency. If, god forbid, the budgeter in the family becomes incapacitated for any reason, the last thing you are going to want to spend your time doing is sifting through financial records you likely don’t even understand.
To keep both spouses aware of what’s going on in the household financially, we suggest making time to meet and discuss finances. Have your “Money Meeting” minimally, once a month. If possible, I’d even suggest doing it once a week. As your kids get older, have them join in, too.
It is definitely okay for one spouse to manage the budget. But the other should be 100% aware of what is going on and have complete access to all financial documents and materials.
Overall, I think both spouses should be in the know about the finances, whether one or the other physically manages it.
Teach Your Kids Valuable Skills at an Early Age
Looping your kids in on your budget is a good way to get the kids learning what it takes to run a household at an early age. This is a lesson they won’t ever forget.
I totally understand the desire to hide weakness or difficulties from our kids. Of course, we want to shelter our kids from any unnecessary stress and allow them to be kids for as long as possible. But, they should also enter adulthood with a realistic idea of how finances work.
This is why we recommend speaking openly about money, costs of different things, and bills in front of and with your kids. We also recommend including your kids in spending decisions starting at a young age, and inviting them to your money meetings as soon as they are old enough to grasp what is going on.
Since our kids were 4 and 6 years old, we’ve had them use piggy banks to start teaching them the concept of earning and saving their money to pay for things. Now that they are 9 and 11, we’ve been working on introducing the concept of budgeting to them.⠀
Kids that grow up in a home where money is discussed openly and honestly, become more conscious and responsible with their own spending and expenses.
One day, your future daughter or son-in-law will be thanking you for raising such a money conscious child.
What’s the Big Deal, Anyway?
This might be the simplest reason of all to get the whole family involved in budgeting. Ready for it… why not? What is the big deal? As far as I can see, there is no downside to getting the whole family involved in budgeting. It brings partners closer together, eliminates placing blame, makes everyone aware, and helps develop responsibility in kids.
Budgeting is not something to be feared or hidden. If you have family members who avoid budgeting, it’s likely a sign that they NEED to be budgeting. If you make budgeting a big scary thing, it will feel like a big scary thing. In reality, a good budget is actually pretty simple and easy to follow once you take the steps to put one in place.
Make your budget fun and speak about it openly – your whole family will rally together and really bond over budgeting. It might sound crazy, but trust me, it’s true – just look at my family!
If you are looking for assistance in setting up your family budget, I’m here for you! Let’s chat about 1:1 coaching. I’ll help you set up systems and routines that will work for your unique family. You can find out more about my family budgeting services here!