Why It's Important To Keep Up A Routine During The Summer

Why It's Important To Keep Up A Routine During The Summer

School is finally out for summer and it’s time for some fun in the sun! The end of the school year brings a welcome relief and well needed break from waking up at the crack of dawn, doing homework and early bedtimes – not only for the kids but for the parents as well. I mean, let’s face it, by the time summer vacation begins I am ready to break out a bottle of wine and celebrate, I can only imagine how great my boys feel when the last day of school is finally here.

So, I completely understand the temptation to let the whole school year routine take a backseat to having a super fun summer. You may consider forgetting bedtimes, chores, curfews and the regular rules of the household and let the kids just be kids and enjoy their summer. You may even think this is a pretty good idea; after all, the routine will always be there when you’re ready to go back to it, right? Now, the routine may still be there, but your sanity as well as the sanity of your children may not be there at that point. That’s why it’s so important to keep up a routine during the summer months.

Like I said earlier, we all need a break. Parents and children deserve to have a break and enjoy their time while they take that break, so I am not saying that you have to stick to the same routine that you follow during the school year. It’s okay to to keep the rules in place and modify them a bit. This allows you to keep the structure that you work so hard on while school is in session while still cutting you all some slack and taking time to experience the joy of a carefree summer. With some of these simple changes to your normal routine you can make it happen easier than you think.

Make bedtimes and wake up times an hour later. Have a camp out in the backyard or a movie night where you all stay up a little later and watch a favorite movie together. In the morning do the same, let them sleep in a little later than usual and then do something that you will enjoy together. It can be some time at the park, the library or something as simple as breakfast at your favorite place. The trick is to find what works for your family. Let them stay up a little later and wake up a little later but remember your limits. One hour may be just fine, but when 1 becomes 3 it can mess up the routine completely.

If your older kids go out with friends during summer break, you may want to give them a little bit more freedom. It gets dark a little later so you may want to extend their curfew for an hour or let them go someplace new with their friends. This gives them a chance to experience things they may not see during the school year and gives them a bit more independence. Once again, you want to find the balance that works for you where everyone is happy and feels secure. You can find lots of ways to modify the rules so that there is still a routine but it’s not as rigid as during the school year. Giving them a small break from chores with a surprise outing instead is a cool way to break the rules a little. The key is moderation; small changes that make things more enjoyable and take advantage of things like longer days and warmer weather; not big things that will disrupt the routine that you need.

Now here’s the thing, your kids may fight you on this. They may get mad at you for not letting them stay up all night playing video games or sleep until 12pm because DUH, SUMMER! Your friends or family members may try to guilt you into giving in – “but it’s their summer vacation, let them be kids and have a good time!”. But none of this will work because you know the secret. The secret to as much peace and sanity as anyone with children can possibly have. That secret is the routine. Your kids don’t even know it, but they need a routine. Heck, deep down inside they actually crave a routine. Routines make kids (and adults for that matter) feel safe and secure. Having a routine gives children stability and helps them build trust. They know what to expect and when to expect it and that makes them feel good even if they don’t know it or understand it. A routine keeps things in order for parents but for kids it’s an extremely important and necessary part of life.

Studies show that kids who don’t have a routine can develop behavioral problems, low self esteem and other issues that can stay with them for the rest of their lives. Kids that follow a routine learn self discipline, responsibility and other life skills that they need to survive in the real world. They also make an easier transition when the new school year starts because of having a routine. These children feel loved and cared for. They know that there is an adult making sure that they are okay and that things are going how they are supposed to be. They also have less anxiety than children without a regular routine.

While putting your regular routine on the back burner for the summer may seem like no big deal it really is a huge deal. It’s about so much more than being the fun parent and letting your kids have an awesome summer. You can still be fun and their summer will be even more awesome when you stick to a routine even though there’s no school. You are also doing what’s best for their health and well being. You will be giving your kids what they need not just what they want and that’s what parenting is all about. So stick to that routine this summer and know that you are doing this whole parenting thing right. Good job!

About Taylor Nikaci


  1. Liz Mays

    I truly feel like kids crave and thrive with a schedule, routine and rules. They may fight against it, but they actually need and like it.

  2. Theresa

    I agree. Keeping them on a schedule really helps to keep the peace. I slipped the first week and my youngest gave me major attitude because she was overtired. Now we are back to routine and things are going a lot smoother.

  3. Amber NElson

    It is so important to keep kids on a schedule or you will have some hot mess, crabby crying kiddos. Been there, done that!

  4. Jenn

    It is so important! My kids need routine, so do I makes the days run smoother.

  5. Annemarie LeBlanc

    I did that too when my kids were still young. I did not have problems with getting them up when school started again.

  6. Michele

    I have no children so I don’t really want to say yeah or no to this. In reality I don’t remember having a routine way back then–but then routines still do not appeal to me so maybe my parents gave up? I did have to be home before dark and when on a date had a strict curfew.

  7. Jeanette

    I 100% agree! We keep a routine all summer long. But since it was the bed at the same time as he does when there is school. We also actually have him do homework each day so that he does not lose what he is learned.

  8. Annemarie LeBlanc

    Very good advice. It would be best to maintain a routine even if the kids are out of school for the summer. That way, we can avoid a difficult transition period when the school year starts again.

  9. Nancy Polanco

    It is definitely very important! Thanks for this post, it’s so true!

  10. alissa a apel

    My kids do have a pretty consistent time that they go to bed and wake up. It’s all because we work really. They were doing workbooks that I gave them. Now they are in their first summer camp.

  11. Tara

    I agree, even though it is summer you still have to have some semblance to a day. It is just a bit different though.

  12. Amy Desrosiers

    I need to make some sort of routine for my kids stat! They get out tomorrow and I have nothing planned!

  13. shaunatorres

    I am all for routines and actually strive with them. When I don’t have them, I tend to become very agitated, so you can bet that my kids always have one. LOL.

  14. Neely (@Neelykins)

    Yes! I thrive on routines as I think most people do. Its fine to be a little lax but having a routine is good for everyone.

  15. Danielle

    I’ve never really thought about keeping a routine over the summer. My kids aren’t of school age quite yet and it’s hard enough to keep a routine as it is. I suppose now is a better time than ever to start getting some things in place around here.

  16. Aimee

    This is spot on! Kids, no matter what age, thrive on routine! Every one needs to be well rested to have fun!

  17. Janeane Davis

    This post gives a lot of good advice. It is nice to get away from the school schedule during the summer, but it is important to maintain a schedule and live an orderly life.

  18. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas

    Oh yes, great points! My children need a routine during the summer, as do I!

  19. Mistee Dawn

    I homeschool my daughter and she has special needs, so we are definitely all about routines. And I know how important they are for kids! Great post!

  20. valmg @ Mom Knows It All

    We stay on schedule all school year. Once school is out we all let our hair down and relax a bit. My youngest goes to school 11 months of the year, so the few weeks he’s off I let him stay up as he’s earned it.

  21. janis

    When we don’t keep to a schedule, usually we forget one (or several) things that we meant to do that day. It sure is important, and I’ve found there’s always room for fun in it anyway.

  22. Kathy

    I agree about keeping a routine. I do a routine daily whether the kids are out of school or not. Everything still stays the same, except I let my girls stay up maybe a half hour longer then on a school night.

  23. Ann Bacciaglia

    My kids always did better the summers we stuck to a routine. I noticed a difference when it was time to transition back to school.

  24. Rorybore

    We definitely tend to stay up a little later in the summer months — it’s hard to go to bed when the sun is still shining in the bedroom window! My youngest at only 6 will start to fade fast though. Mine unfortunately do NOT sleep in though no matter how late the stay up the night before. The latest might be about 8 am if they were in bed around midnight – and with summer weddings and BBQS and bonfires that can happen. So I never plan anything the next day. It can be a pj and movie or game day. that’s the secret to sanity for both mama and the tired children.
    Chores will always be done first before any play. come rain, come shine, come school… only the house burning down will save you from those chores. Please don’t burn my house down kiddos.

  25. Audrey

    I agree with this so much!! We don’t stick to as strict of a routine but order is a must do with a routine for the kids even in the summer.

  26. April Mims

    Great advice! I like a little more flexibility but think it’s a good idea to adjust the schedule but not throw it out the window all together.

  27. Alli Rutherford Smith

    My kids always had a bit of a routine during the summer, but summer is all about fun, so I always lightened up quite a bit.

  28. Diana Mathieson

    My four sons are grown now, but having a routine is important. I know we followed a more stricter routine when they were young. They need to get enough sleep and have their meals at a routine time. We did a lot of swimming when they were young so they were tired when it came to bedtime. As they got older they kind of had their own routines because it is what they know. I know my husband and I still pretty much follow a routine. This is a great reminder. thanks

  29. Katrina | TOTSFamily.com

    We stay up later in the summer – which is easier because it stays sunny so late. I do need to create a schedule though. Especially because I work from home and my daughter will be with me everyday.

  30. Amanda Love

    I’m one of those who don’t believe in routine really during the summer. I let the kids stay up late but we do get back into it 2 weeks before school starts.

  31. Miranda @lemonsandlaughs

    We keep a lose routine in the summer. Meals, outside time, bed are all about the same time, just not the same time as during school time.

  32. Pam

    That’s how we are during the summer. We keep a routine, but it’s different than during the school year.

  33. Louise Bishop

    I have witnesses the destructiveness of a child being raised with no routine (several actually) and know first-hand how important this issue is. It plagues them even in adulthood and some can never shake it. Thanks for sharing.

  34. karen

    Totally ON it with all of your routine reminders. This goes for kids and adults! I tell ya, if I am off on my routine for even a little bit I’m a mess! haha…
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  35. Terri Steffes

    You are so right. As a school principal I would see kids suffer that first two weeks of school until their home routine was reestablished. A little flexibility is fine, that’s what makes it special!

  36. Pam

    Routines are definitely important with kids. My son used to really thrive off of routines. In fact, he still does.

  37. Franc Ramon

    I think a little bit of structure would really help a lot during summer. For one, they’ll be more productive and their body won’t need to adjust come school day time.

  38. Carolyn

    My kids do best with a routine too. I only make them make their beds during the summer so that is a new chore and they seem to embrace having set things to do before the fun can begin. I need to make sure they keep up with their summer school work too.

  39. Thuli Mac

    Interesting point that studies show that not following a routine can lead to behavioral problems and further… Great post!

  40. Catherine S

    I agree, keeping the same routine over the summer is important. My son always seemed to do better when we kept the same routine. Every now and again he would sleep in a little later than normal.

  41. Amanda Simkin

    Routines are so incredibly important to maintain throughout the entire year. Yes, we are a little more lazy in the summer because things are more laid back, but we definitely stick to our schedule which we enjoy a ton.

  42. Chrishelle

    It is so hard to get back into a routine after the summer, even with older teens. Keeping a routine for the summer, maybe with a few exceptions, is very important.

  43. crystal

    Even tough the schedule is looser, we still try to maintain some order and rules. The kids aren’t quite old enough to stay up all night and be human the next day. Plus, it’s easier to get them to do the math & reading I want them to do if they are on a routine.

  44. Stacie @ Divine Lifesytle

    I love this. Routines are even more important during the summer because they keep the kids ready for the school schedules.

  45. Cindy Ingalls

    Very good points. Having a routine, even in the summer, is a great idea. Makes the transition back to school much easier.

  46. Monica

    I’ve been so excited for the carefree days of summer and this is SO HELPFUL! Thank you.

  47. Jeanine

    I couldn’t agree more. if we don’t have a routine it throws everything off. Although the routine isn’t the same in the summer, I still make it a point to have somewhat of a routine.

  48. Marcie W.

    We function best as a family when we keep a routine and summer vacation is no exception. I may be a bit more lax during this time of the year, but structure is definitely still the way we roll.

  49. Sheri Ann Richerson

    Kids definitely do better with a schedule. That was one of the first lessons I learnt as a parent. Thanks for sharing this!

  50. Mary Edwards

    It’s very important. My younger kids go to camp-so they go to bed at a decent hour and get up at a decent hour. It’s a little harder with the teens…

  51. Vicky

    We love our routine and schedule. It may not be for everyone but it works for our family.

  52. Ashley @irishred02

    I am all about routines even in the Summer. It makes life easier for us all

  53. tp keane

    I’m in complete agreement with you on this. It’s so easy to nap your way through summer and let your brain turn to mush.

  54. Val

    Routine is very important, even during summer. I think summer season can possibly be a little more lax but routine is necessary. Great article!

  55. Brandy

    I love having a Summer routine, it’s a bit different than what I have during the school year! I have seen without a routine that the kids, mainly my sons, act out badly!

  56. Rachel

    Routine is so important for kids! We don’t have school-aged kids yet, but in the days my daughter doesn’t go to “school” we do try to keep her close to the routine.

  57. Roxanne

    I try to stick to chores and daily routines, but I admit I slack a lot on the bedtime routines. I let the kids sleep in more if we don’t have a place to go, and I sometimes let them stay up for fun nights out with friends. I can’t do it very often because I do pay for it!

  58. toni

    I had not heard the statistic about lack of routine affecting self esteem! We don’t have an enforced routine but my kids swim at night and tend to want to go to bed at their regular time due to that.

  59. Elizabeth O.

    Just because you’re sticking to a routine, doesn’t mean you’re not allowing them to have fun. It’s good to have a schedule because it keeps them disciplined and responsible as well, especially since school is out.

  60. Nicole Etolen

    I like having routine during summer. The kids know what to do and what are the things that are limited to them.

  61. Nicole Escat

    Summer can be boring and crazy at the same time. It is important to have a routine so the kids will be looking forward for the next summer event.

  62. Chrysa Kieke Duran

    Keeping a routine during summer vacation is so important. It can sometimes cause more stress not to. I agree with making the bedtime one hour later (if your kids will cooperate and wake up an hour later)!

  63. Chris

    Nothing worse then trying to get back into a routine after a long break.

  64. Lexie Lane

    I totally agree, especially when it comes to boys. They should have routines, even not in summer.

  65. Sarah

    What great information about why it is important to keep a routine in the summer time with your kids.

  66. Wendy Polisi

    We homeschool and are actually pretty relaxed year around. I do make sure they are in bed by a reasonable hour, but never wake them up unless we are going somewhere. I figure if they are sleeping in, they need it!

  67. Leigh Anne Borders

    What a great post. This is so true to do., Routines are important esp for kids in the summer. I am a school teacher and I look forward to the summers; however, I am not routine with them. What I find funny is that a few weeks in of no routine, I find myself ready for that routine!

  68. Rebecca Swenor

    It is important to keep up with the routine in the summer. The routines are important for the kids and yourself because it is indeed healthier. Thanks for sharing.

  69. Whitney Jordan

    I have to agree that it is important to keep a routine during the summer, at least for my family. My kids need the routine, as do I, so I try to make sure we stay on one while still having fun.

  70. Tonia

    Once I get a free minute I’ll be planning out one heck of a schedule for my kids.

  71. Kristin

    It’s so important to keep kids busy during the summer with simple things too. Routine is also great for kids!

  72. Christine - The Choosy Mommy

    I agree! Sticking to a schedule is the only way we survive in the summer!

  73. felicia

    This is so true. No matter what the routine is. Just pick something and follow it and everyone seems to function better!

  74. Chrystal | Nevermore Lane

    I think life is just better with routines. I think it is fine to let kids stay up super late once in a while, but for the most part, I wouldn’t stray more than an hour or so for the summer bed time.

  75. Christy Garrett

    I like the thought of my boys keeping a routine. However, I am a little lax about it. I do make them go to bed at a decent hour.

  76. Heather (@TownsendHouse1)

    We definitely take the foot off the gas once summer gets here. We use kind of an anchor schedule based on the meals and rest time.

  77. CourtneyLynne

    My daughter seriously thrives on routine. I’m still
    Trying to figure out a good routine for summer for her!

  78. brittany

    I totally agree that kids need that routine! It’s probably so hard to come back around the next school year

  79. Bonnie @wemake7

    My kiddos always fight me on that as well saying that they should be able to stay up all night and all that but I’m sticking to routine because everyone functions better that way.

  80. Stephanie Pass

    This is so dang true! I hate when they get off schedule because then I don’t get any time to myself either. After just a week out of school, they were out of whack last week, so this week, we’ve been getting back on schedule and it’s so much easier.

  81. Beeb Ashcroft

    It’s true that seems to make a child feel more secure in themselves to have a routine. It’s seems so hard but it’s really much easier in the long run.

  82. Mauie

    Yes, I agree. Summer is not an excuse to skip routines. And I believe this is good training for them.

  83. Jennifer Pritchard Kearney

    These are all great points! Ever since finishing school in college it always feels like summer is just a time to relax, slack off and play without a routine in mind. Now as an adult that’s not a good plan.

  84. Leslie Hernandez

    I don’t have kids yet but I always encourage my sisters to keep my nice and nephew active and on a schedule during the summer kids get bored supper easy and with boredom comes acting up behaviors lol… when I do have kids I intend to keep them on a cool schedule so they enjoy and appreciate the little thing in life. Leslie xoxo

  85. yona williams

    My brother doesn’t go hog-wild on the bedtime of my nephew during the summertime. Thank goodness there isn’t a fight there about it.

  86. Erin

    I’m a huge fan of maintaining routines! We break them only for special occasions but truly, my boys thrive on routine!

  87. Echo

    It’s funny, we always try to be cool and ditch the routine. However, everything works so much better with it!

  88. Cathy Mini

    I definitely agree that routines are important. Whether school is in, or it is summer – I try to keep my daughter on a routine. It just makes things easier.

  89. Mardene Carr

    I agree to a point but I also know that this is summer and time for them to sleep in late and have some fun.

  90. Rebecca Kelsey Sampson

    I completely agree! Having a schedule even when school is out is so important, especially just as a parent trying to stay sane.

  91. Ashleigh Walls

    My oldest HAS to have a routine or he melts down because of this special needs. It certainly has made me more of a person who can adapt to knowing what will happen daily.

  92. oana79

    I am a creature of routine and this post couldn’t agree more with what I believe it! We love to take it easy during the summer but I always insist on keeping bedtimes and routines as they help massively.

  93. ana fernandez

    Wish my mom make me had a routine when I was a kid. It was hard to get one when I grew up

  94. Jay Simms

    I am quickly finding this out. It has been so hard to get my kids to sleep the past week. I need to get them on the same schedule and stick to it.

  95. Christina Aliperti

    Routines may seem boring but you just have to make fun part of the routine. Having a routine is good for kids and adults too.

  96. adriana

    Great post!! I like keeping a routine during the summer to a certain extent but at the same time I really like to wing things sometimes haha!

  97. Ayesha Heart

    Tue it is very important esp when Summer. They have to be so busy and enjoy the Summertime or else it will be a chaos int he house ^ ^ .

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