Supernanny Parenting Discussion Group – Routine (Week 1)

As I promised in my previous post, here is the discussion guide for week 1 of our Supernanny parenting discussion group.  This week we concentrate on the importance of routine.

Week 1 – Routine

Icebreaker Question: Tell the group about a time when you got in trouble as a kid and describe the consequences of your actions.

When I was a kid, I can specifically remember riding my red bike with a black banana seat way outside of the boundaries that my parents had set for me.  My bike was notorious for eating up the pant legs of my favorite Toughskins® jeans.  Needless to say, one time when I was out-of-bounds, my pant legs jammed up in my bike chain and I couldn’t get them out.  A friendly stranger took the time to cut my pant leg out of the chain, load up my bike in her car, and drive me home.  My parents were obviously disappointed and I was in big trouble.  I was grounded for a whole week.  I wasn’t permitted to play outside with my friends or to watch television for the whole week.  As a first or second grader, it felt like I had been sent to maximum security prison.

Stories like these remind us that we were not perfect children.  We didn’t always make the right choices.  It’s helpful to remember this when we think about our own children.  They will make bad choices sometimes also.  Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move into our topic for tonight.

routine A course of action to be followed regularly; a standard procedure

As defined at:

Families often struggle with a chaotic existence – running from activity to activity, trying to jam down a quick bite to eat, squeezing in homework, rushing to catch the bus, wrestling with work, etc.  We live this way day after day, week after week, month after month.  In this midst of this hustle and bustle, our parenting takes on a survival mentality.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could change this?

This week we’ll tackle the subject of routine in our families.  The Supernanny DVD clips will give us a glimpse into a family without a routine.  The video will also demonstrate the importance of routine in our homes.  Grab a comfortable seat, get the popcorn, and get ready for a lively discussion on routine.

Note to leader: Show the following clips from the Supernanny Season 1 DVD: The Bullard Family Episode DVD Disk 1: 1:33-3:34, 6:21-12:51, 14:00-14:37, 17:33-18:42, and 36:30-40:10.  You may choose to show all the clips at once or you may decide to stop the DVD after each clip and discuss the answer to question one or pull out key points as you go.

1.  How do the DVD clips we just viewed relate to routine?

2.  Why is a routine important?

We send mixed messages to our kids when we aren’t consistent even in our schedules.  For example, if we aren’t consistent in putting our kids to bed at the same time each night, they will probably develop problems with going to bed.  If we aren’t consistent with meal times and snack times, our kids will develop unhealthy eating patterns.  Meal times will also tend towards chaotic instead of connecting.  Establishing a routine for your family helps kids develop healthy patterns for the future.

3.  What specific things have you done at your home to encourage a family routine?

Every family will have variations to their own routines that work for them.  Here are some helpful tips as you think about routine in your own home.

To create routines that work for you and your children, keep the following points in mind:

  • Have realistic expectations. Be aware of your children’s capabilities and know when you are asking too much.
  • Be consistent. Follow the same routine each day so that your kids know what is expected of them.
  • Set clear limits and discuss them in advance. This allows children to understand when things will occur, and gives them time to prepare themselves for what is coming next.
  • Provide cues for transition times. This can be extremely helpful, since children do not tell time.
  • Be flexible. Adapt your routines as your children grow and change.

Taken from:

4.The Bible provides interesting insights into many areas of our lives.  How do the verses below relate to this session’s topic?

Proverbs 24:30-34 (TNIV)

30 I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; 31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.  32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:  33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

Proverbs 25:28 (TNIV) 28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

5.  List one or two things that you will do differently or that you will try as a result of our discussion on routine.

Take Home Activity:  Work together as a couple, as a family, or individually to come up with a schedule that works for you and your family.  Be as detailed as possible.  Be sure to include things like meal times, bed times, etc.  Begin to implement the schedule before next week.  Come to next week’s group prepared to share your schedule and how things are going so far.

Note to leader: If time and resources permit, pick up poster board to give out to each parent or couple.  Tell them to put there schedule on the poster board and bring it back next week.

Next week’s topic:  RESPECT

Looking Ahead:  Week 3 – Teamwork, Week 4 – Establishing Appropriate Boundaries, Week 5 – Handling Sibling Differences, Week 6 – Purpose for Discipline, Week 7 – Methods of Discipline, Week 8 – Introducing Your Kids to Christ