Do You Run Your Life on Routines or Reactions?

Posted on Sep 3, 2017

Well, it’s unofficial. Summer is over. Yes, I know that it doesn’t technically end until September 22, but Labor Day weekend is the psychological end of summer. Time to switch gears and get prepared for the school year.

Some of us greet the new school year with dread—homework, packed schedules, the days getting shorter and colder.

Others greet the school year with delight—get these kids out of my house!

However you feel about it, the key to starting the school year off on the right foot is to be prepared. I don’t mean just getting the right school supplies or picking the perfect outfit for the first day.

Before diving into the rush and busy-ness of fall, take a moment to look at your home-life and routines.

Routines are the systems that make our lives run smoothly.  When you create a routine for your family, everyone knows what is expected of them. This sets everyone up for success.

Here are some tips to create a routine that works:

  1. Remember, you are The Boss, applesauce.

This may seem obvious. Of course, you’re in charge–you’re the parent. But ask yourself:

Are you creating a routine that sets you and your family up for success?

Or are you just reacting to whatever the kids are doing?

Nevertheless, YOU ARE IN CHARGE! The clearer you are about the expectations (and the consequences of not meeting them) the fewer power struggles you’ll have.

The kids will not necessarily cooperate fully. Remember, do not take this personally. They are on their own developmental journey. Testing boundaries is part of it.


  1. What do you want for this year?

If you aren’t clear about what you want, you will end up repeating the same pattern regardless of whether it really works or not.

Almost all my clients struggle with the morning routine. There is pressure to get everyone out of the house on time. Every second counts. So, if you are just reacting to the kids, you’re f#cked.

Ask yourself what do you really want for the mornings? How do you want them to go?

You might say… I want my mornings to be uneventful. I want to be prepared. I want to be calm and patient. I want to give my kids the love they need to start the day well.

No mother would say… I want to get in a huge power struggle with my kids. I want to lose my temper and send them off to school feeling bad about themselves. I want to be stressed and disappointed with myself.

And yet, that’s how many moms start their day everyday.


  1. Examine and change what is not working

Are you ready for a truth bomb? This might sting a little:

Parents often blame the kids for their hectic mornings—they don’t listen, they demand attention (or a different breakfast).

The truth is parents sabotage themselves by taking their kids’ whims seriously.

We know that we should lay out the kids clothes and make (most, if not all) of their lunches the night before. Unfortunately, many parents screw themselves because they allow the kids to change their minds from the decision they made together 12 hours ago.


For example, your daughter didn’t want to wear either of the 2 outfits you picked out together. You son decided he didn’t want his water in the Batman bottle, which is ready to go in his lunch box; now he wants the Superman one.

We know it is ridiculous and yet we give in because we think we don’t have time or we don’t want to upset them in the morning, or we are already exhausted and the day just started.

Allowing this behavior derails your day and communicates to your child that they can have whatever they want whenever they want it. Furthermore, it teaches that they won’t be held responsible for the way their actions affect everyone else.

Is that what you are trying to teach your kids?

They are allowed to have a preference and you are under no obligation WHAT SO EVER, to accommodate them. Please refer to tip #1. You are The Boss!


Now is the perfect time to take charge of creating new routines that work for everyone in the family, including you.


Do you want to create routines that really work? Are you sick of the chaos and yearning for calm? It all starts with clarity. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute Clarity Call with me.  During the call, we create a vision for how you want your life to be, uncover what’s keeps you stuck, put together an action plan for moving you forward. It’s a pretty power packed 30 minutes if you ask me!