By establishing daily routines, fathers provide children with structure and a sense of security in a constantly changing world. The right routines grant us and our family superior health—mentally, physically, financially, socially, and spiritually. If we allow smart routines to guide our daily lives, we will experience better health, fulfillment, and prosperity. If we don’t, we are more susceptible to illness, anxiety, and poverty.
Morning routines (or the lack thereof) can set the whole family up to start the day with light and happiness (or whining and misery). Education pioneer, Maria Montessori, said, “Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.” Making the bed helps start the day off with a small victory, providing winning momentum into our morning checklist: brushing teeth, bathing / showering, getting dressed, and so on. Thus presentable, we eat to “break” the overnight “fast,” replenishing glucose levels and other essential nutrients to revitalize ourselves as we prepare to take on the day.
Quality sleep is fundamental for healthy living; its importance cannot be overstated. If we want any hope of getting our children to adopt healthy morning routines, make sure they are getting enough sleep.
Recommended Daily Sleep Hours (including naps):
- newborns: 14-17 hours
- 4-12 months: 12-16 hours
- 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
- 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
- 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
- 13-18 years: 8-10 hours
- 19-60 years: 7+ hours
- 61-64 years: 7-9 hours
- 65+ years: 7-8 hours
Morning routines flow better with a bit of preparation the night before. Lunch and clothes prep, having a centralized location for day starter items like backpacks, keys, and phones can all move the needle, even if just a smidge.
“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
From one family to another, the afternoon activities and obligations of fathers, mothers, and children range tremendously. As parents manage the ebb-and-flow of afternoon routines, good planning and teamwork can set the stage for the whole family to live full and vibrant lives.
Fathers should teach children to fulfill responsibilities and obey the family rules such as completing homework, doing chores, and following curfew. With mutual respect, reasonable expectations, and transparency, let’s help each other make the most of the afternoon before coming together as a family at night.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” —Matthew 5:16 KJV
Healthy paternal guidance designs a regular flow of consistent, structured expectations (such as brushing teeth and reading stories) to be carried out before bed every night. When children relax and wind down as the evening progresses, they are more prepared for a good night’s sleep. Predictable bedtime routines offer comfort and security, allowing kids to learn and follow a sequence that helps them fall asleep on their own.
Typically, we get our best rest when we stop eating within two hours of bedtime. More of a suggestion than a rule, there’s no need to go to bed hungry. If we need a snack, try to choose popcorn or mixed nuts over sugary treats. Turn off electronic devices. Consider the ambiance and lower the lights. Maybe set the thermostat low to encourage the fam to climb between comfy sheets. Washing up and brushing teeth should be standard operating procedure. Set the alarm. Read. Pray.
A good night’s sleep is the #1 ingredient for a good day. Consistently, each evening, gently calm kids’ hearts by instilling ready and obedient attitudes and behaviors. As bedtime approaches, lots of toddlers struggle with separation anxiety; a stuffed animal or comfort blanket can offer reassurance. We can discourage some resistance to bedtime by asking children to take the lead with big decisions, such as which pajamas to wear, which book to read, or taking the lead with nighttime prayers.
If children give us a hard time about going to sleep at bedtime, try giving them “autonomy,” by saying, “Bobby, you can go to bed anytime you’d like between 8:30 and 9:00, it’s up to you. Whether 8:30, 8:40, 8:50, whenever you want, it’s up to you.” When children feel like they have a say, this “ownership” helps with compliance. For avid readers, we can help them get into bed by telling them they can stay up for an extra half hour to read after we tuck them in.
Bedtime stories can help extend the parent-child connection for just a little while longer at the end of the day. Thank God for our blessings, ask for His protection, and that His Will be done. When it’s time for lights-out, calmly and firmly say, “I love you, goodnight,” and leave the room.
American author John C. Maxwell wrote, “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to your success is found in your daily routine.” The strengths and weaknesses of our daily routines correspond with the levels of order and chaos in our lives. We get to choose; choose wisely.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
—Matthew 11:28-29 KJV
Excellent Reading for Daily Routines
What do titans do in the first sixty minutes of each morning? What do their workout routines look like, and why? What books have they gifted most to other people? What are the biggest wastes of time? “I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.”
Stop doing busywork. Start doing your best work. Manage Your Day-to-Day will give you a toolkit for tackling new challenges.
A brilliant and clear-eyed rejection of the chaotic lifestyle that has captured the world, written with common sense, humor, and extraordinary insight. This book is destined to change lives!
The NLT Illustrated Study Bible brings Scripture to life with hundreds of information-rich windows to the Bible world in a compelling way for today’s visual generation.
Excellent Reading for Morning Routines
With flaps to open, wheels to turn, and fun pop-ups, Ready, Set, Brush illustrates elements of oral hygiene: applying toothpaste, brushing, rinsing, and regular visits to the dentist. Learning to brush has never been so much fun!
Learn why mornings matter more than you think. Learn how to master your own self-leadership and personal growth. Learn how to manage your energy—physical, mental, and emotional.
This comprehensive guide will show you how to get into a routine that works for you so that you can develop the habits that move you forward. Like it or not, our morning habits form the stack that our whole day is built on.
Excellent Reading for Afternoon Routines
Life Skills for Kids is the perfect gift for boys and girls! With the help of this guide, kids can learn foundation skills such as the basics in cooking, handling emergencies, communication skills, setting goals, running appliances, and so much more!
Parenting philosophy which equips each unique child to function as a whole person so that they can enter adulthood as physically, spiritually, and mentally healthy individuals.
As parents we want to safeguard our children from the pressures and influences of the world, but also prepare them for age-appropriate realities. How do we find that balance?
The key to your success is directed ACTION. You can make your future more exciting by using The Performance Planner every day to maintain that discipline and stay on track to reach your goals.
Excellent Reading for Bedtime Routines
In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.
Baby Llama turns bedtime into an all-out llama drama in this rhyming read-aloud favorite! Children will relate to Baby Llama’s need for comfort, as much as parents will appreciate Mama Llama’s reassuring message.
One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest—so they’ll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play!
Getting ready for sleep is tons of fun in this iconic board book. This classic bedtime story is just right for winding down the day as a joyful, silly group of animal scrub scrub scrub in the tub, brush and brush and brush their teeth, and finally rock and rock and rock to sleep.
From a leading pediatric sleep physician comes a revolutionary program that will have everyone in the house sleeping through the night.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.