Is your family running from place to place throughout the week? Balancing your family time is important to keeping life going and getting everything done in your busy household. With school, sports, business meetings, family gatherings, etc., coordinating your family schedule is key to this. Here are some awesome ideas for balancing your family time:
1. Hold a family coordination meeting every week: At the beginning of the week, get the whole family together and review the family schedule. Discuss, figure out and coordinate your family carpool, meals together and other responsibilities. It’s best to figure this out when everyone is present. Have a set time and place where all members of your family will meet. (Ex. Sunday at 6pm in the living room.) Have the family understand that this is a top priority. All other activities need to be scheduled around this meeting. When this meeting is in place, your whole week will run smoother.
2. Create a family calendar: When I was growing up, my busy parents kept a family calendar on a whiteboard above the dining table. Whenever I sat at the table to eat my morning cereal or my evening spaghetti, I would glance at the wall and know my family’s schedule. I knew when my after school swimming lessons took place, or when my parents’ PTA conferences were. Since the calendar was in a visible place, the rest of the family also understood when these activities were taking place. It was key to keeping our coordination in tact.
Nowadays, there are many types of calendaring systems that families can keep. Consider a hard-copy calendar, a whiteboard, a day planner, or a digital calendar. Whatever the case, use the following criteria:
- Keep it visiblefor all members of the family to see and to access for changes in the schedule. For instance, our family calendar is kept on the wall next to the door. That way, everyone is sure to see the calendar on their way out. Some people hang it on the fridge or keep it in the dining room. If your family chooses the digital method, be sure that all members of the family have frequent access.
- Use a color-coding system.On our wall calendar, every member of the family has a different color. (Mine is purple.) All activities that pertain to me are written down in purple ink. It’s easy for me to glance at everything that I’m involved with since they are all the same color. You may also use the color coding system for types of activities. For example, blue for sports, red for work, green for family time. Choose your preferred method.
- Avoid over scheduling.With family members involved in so many activities, it’s easy to get confused. If your family finds itself frequently mixing up or cancelling activities or are unable to take care of basic responsibilities (homework, cleaning, etc.,) consider cutting back. It’s alright to play one sport instead of three at the same time.
- Schedule in regular family time.Whether it’s a family dinner or a family movie night, prioritize your family get-togethers by scheduling it in. When you schedule it in, these activities become a priority. This teaches children to value family time too. It is a value that they may carry with them into adulthood.
- Schedule in chores. I have a friend whose entire family does their chores every Saturday morning. Since they’ve set the time aside in their schedule, she said it’s reduced a lot of contention and stress of individuals who did not do their chores. While everyone grumbled at first, it’s developed into a fun time for their family. Their children have learned to work together and to help eachother out. Often, when one child is done with chores, she jumps in to help her siblings to get the job done sooner. Then their entire family is able to enjoy the rest of the day.
- Schedule in fun.Wanna have some fun? Make it a priority and schedule it in to the family calendar. After all, all work and no play is no fun.
What to schedule in: School activities, work meetings, extra-curricular activities (practices, games, performances,) family outings, chore responsibilities, ride coordination, car assignments, family coordination meeting, family meal times, trips, exercise, relaxation, etc. family A family calendar helps all members of the household keep informed of activities. Whether your elementary-aged daughter has a 4pm piano lesson or your teenage son has a 5pm driving lesson, a family calendar unites everyone in purpose and in awareness. Use these tips to improve your family coordination and to enhance family unity.
Have a happy family day!
The Happy Balance Girl
What do you do to keep your family schedule coordinated? (Answer below (: )