Tips on Establishing a Good Routine

September 5, 2019

Habits are powerful but did you know it can take up to three to four weeks for a new habit or routine to form? Easier said than done.


No matter how old you are, creating a schedule of daily tasks and activities will help you form good, productive habits and can help break the bad ones. As we ease back into the school routine, come up with a plan for every member of the family to help in the day-to-day. Whether it’s the mad morning rush that has you going crazy, or the routine of getting homework done on top of dinner making and after school activities, setting up a healthy routine not only teaches independence, establishes expectations but it is also beneficial for everyone! Especially the parents! 🙂


Here’s what our team has to say about establishing routines:

Dominique Adkins, Ed.d., LPC, NCC, ACS:

As teens are getting into their routines for the new school year, it is important to clearly communicate expectations.  Each teens’ routine should take into consideration their unique needs. It is also essential to listen to the concerns and ideas they may have.

Working together to create the routines increases teens ownership and follow through with established routines. Incorporating a moment of gratitude into each day is also beneficial especially as the workload increases.

Finally, remember to check in throughout the school year to make any needed adjustments.

Amanda Beyland, LCSW: 

Sometimes a lack of structure, or routine, can lead to things feeling a little bit chaotic. Routines help things to run a bit smoother while helping to give kids a sense of independence (and take a little stress off parents). Once children understand the routine, whether it is getting ready in the morning, what to do after school, or settling down for bedtime, they know what is expected and, after some practice, are able to get things done (mostly) on their own.

Routines may also include things like weekly chores, a special activity after a sporting game, or family activities. Keeping these routines helps not only with building responsibility but also with strengthening family relationships.

Routines don’t need to be complicated and it’s okay if things don’t always go exactly as planned! Simple and flexible is fine while keeping in mind the goal of bringing more consistency to the family.

Kasey Cain, Resident in Counseling:

Routines are key to providing structure and safety to children. They can also foster self-discipline and self-esteem. While children may push back against certain routines and appear to be “anti-routine”, children actually need and crave them.

In order to establish a routine, the main thing to remember is to STICK TO IT. If you try the routine for one week and it hasn’t worked, don’t stop. It takes approximately 2 months to form a new habit. Consistency and predictability are a must for a routine to be successful and to become, well, routine.

Vanessa Mackall Lal, Resident in Counseling:

Now that the school year has officially kicked off, exploring new strategies that will support the mental health and academic success of our kids all year round, is vitally important. Establishing a daily routine is just one way that parents can teach and model the use of effective time management skills and organizational skills that will benefit their children at home and within the classroom setting.

Daily routines can be especially helpful for anxious kids and teens, often helping to alleviate fears of the “unknown” throughout the day. Creating a morning, afternoon, and evening routine for your child will help them develop the time management skills they will need throughout their lives, while providing a sense of structure throughout their day.

A daily routine can also help kids and teens improve their ability to effectively transition from one task to another. Teaching our kids how to implement this strategy will not only benefit their well being as children, but will also propel them forward throughout the developmental phases of their life.

Until next week, Be Wise!