A family that is disorganized can be very stressful. No matter how busy — or not so busy — your family is, keeping on a schedule of some sort will make life easier for everyone. Check out these tips to help your family get on a schedule and make it work.
Use a Large Wall Calendar
Use a large wall calendar to keep the schedule in view. A dry erase calendar works great so it can be changed easily. Mom or Dad should fill out the calendar at the beginning of each month and add schedules and events so everyone can see. Instruct the kids to verbally tell Mom or Dad about any additions or changes for their activities before they write something on the calendar.
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Hold Family Meetings Each Week
At the beginning or end of each week, sit down together as a family and go over the coming week’s activities. Discuss how to fit everything in and make it all work. When everybody knows what’s expected and on the schedule, it makes it easier to pull it all together.
Keep a Planner
This helps the family stay on track when they’re away from home and away from the wall calendar. Everyone should know where this planner is kept and should be able to access it easily when they need it. Before anyone plans a new activity, make sure to check the planner to see what that date and that entire week looks like.
Whether you’re getting everyone ready for school, church, a sports event or some other activity, set timers to keep everyone moving. Set alarms to give everyone a five minute warning prior to needing to leave the house. It just doesn’t work to announce “we need to leave now — come on!” Give everyone a heads up that you need to leave in five minutes and now’s the time to gather their things, brush their teeth, make another trip to the bathroom and such.
Learn to Say No
One of the most important things you can do to get your family on a schedule that actually works is to learn how to say no. Don’t over schedule your family and don’t let the kids talk you into squeezing in more things that just add stress. Remember that a calendar that is packed full of activities, is a calendar that reflects how little quality time you spend as a family. Set aside specific days of the week that are blacked out for outside activities and don’t allow anyone to bend that rule.
Getting your family on a schedule that works may take some time and some fine tuning. Working together to make everything work will be a requirement. The advantages, though, will be worth it!
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