Creating routine for teens

Getting your teens involved in a weekly routine, including chores, is a great start.

By Melissa Meehan

With five kids, Surrey Hills mum Nicole Avery has to be organised.

Her kids range from 12 to 22-years-old – her youngest started high school this year and her eldest began his first post-graduate job.

Planning was not always something she’d been good at or focused on, she still doesn’t claim to be an expert.

She’s just had a lot of practice.

She’s been working online, working with Planning with Kids since 2008.

They key to success?

Learn to delegate. It not only benefits you, but it sets your teens up for success too.

“For me, it was pure basics,” Ms Avery told Kids Today.

“That included making lunches at night – it only takes 15 minutes in the evening, but in the morning it takes so much longer because you’re directing traffic.”

She said she’d often get frazzled and stressed by making the lunches in the morning, but it was no problem at all in the calm of the night – and even better when the kids are old enough to make their own.

If you are already planned, organised about what needs to happen you can start to delegate some of the easy tasks to the kids,” she said.

“At the start it feels like it takes double the time, but it frees up alot of time in the long run and give the kids a sense of purpose.”

Once they’ve handled the lunch box, Ms Avery then gets them involved in the whole process of going to the shops and understanding where it comes from.

Then they are asked to put the shopping away. Which at the start can be a chaos that those of us with perfectly manicured pantries have nightmares about.

But soon enough they learn that when they go to make their lunch or snack and the items they want aren’t where they should be.

And they’ll start understanding why everything has its place.

It takes a little time to get going, but creating simple systems like this are a great foundation for letting your young teens understand why routines and planning are so important.

“It’s the whole education process and now they know what do, ” she says.

“There’s some huge things you can do in terms of getting kids to do stuff for themselves and for the family.”

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