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Talking about parenting: Enjoying the return of routines

Chris Kovatch

The beginning of the school year has been a whirlwind for our family which is one of the main reasons my column has been absent for the past several weeks. 

Even with all of the preparations and activities that occur at the beginning of the school year, it is one of my favorite times of the year. 

To me, the beginning of the school year signals a return to routine. I relish routines. I think they are a requirement when juggling the schedules of six active kids. 

Summer break brings fun and spontaneity to our home, but it also throws my schedule into chaos. 

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all the fun summer brings to our household, but I also appreciate the order that the school year brings.

Does that make me a bad parent? I don’t think so. 

I think having kids experience the extremes of a regimented schedule and having responsibilities to being able to experience a time being carefree is paramount to their development. 

It allows them to observe and experience that there is a time for everything. A life without fun would be miserable; a life without responsibility would not aid them in growing into productive and responsible adults.

There is a lot to be said for preparing kids, on age-appropriate levels, regarding situations that they will likely experience as an adult. 

Too often these days, I encounter people younger than me that have never mastered the ability to schedule, budget, or a variety of other life skills. I don’t want to set my children up for failure. I want to equip them with a variety of skills that they can utilize across a variety of situations. The ability to plan ahead but also adjust when the situation calls for it will be something that will come in handy for them as they progress through school and adulthood.

As we continue to adjust to our back to school schedule, I will definitely look forward to the continuity it brings to our week, but I will do my best to keep an open mind when those last-minute schedule changes crop up. 

I have to remember the need for me to be flexible and roll with the punches because my kids are watching how I react. 

This school year has one more upside that will reach us in September-my oldest will begin to drive. Now while this fact worries me as he hits the road, it is also one that I am excited about as he will be an added transportation method for the rest of the kids. 

Is it a coincidence his SUV seats seven? I think not.