Thursday, March 6, 2014

5 Ways to Balance your Kid's Busy Schedule with Your Own

In our fast paced society, everybody is busy and has a full schedule. Besides the fact that you and your husband work all day, your children probably also have a schedule after school for extra curricular activities. Three o’clock ballet for your youngest one, four thirty soccer practice for your son and six o’clock picking up the oldest from the library and then dinner? Sounds crazy, but when you have a few children, how can you balance all the schedules without running crazy and without neglecting anybody?

Before starting to change anything on your busy schedule, set aside a little bit of time for the following helpful five steps to balance the schedule.

1. First of all, analyze your schedule. Make up or print out a calendar that shows your activities on a daily bases. If you need help with that there are many helpful pages on the Internet that will actually give you free online or downloadable calendar software. Make sure that your calendar specifically shows all the events and activities in a day. Best would be to actually divide the calendar in a way that it shows what each family member does at what time. This will help you to look for schedules clashing and major problems. It is easy to see on a schedule why you are in such stress and hassle to get your children to the events. Often time’s a too busy schedule can cause stress, fatigue and behavior problems.

2. After you have analyzed your schedule situation, it is important to figure out what you want to be changed and what you want to accomplish with your new schedule. If you want your children to come home and do their homework before they leave to see friends or go to their extra curricular activities, if you want everybody to have family dinner together, or breakfast to be more quiet, now is the time to get your families life on a balanced schedule that focuses on the essentials. It is important to seriously think about what you and the family want and to integrate only the best into your families new schedule.

3. Almost as important as analyzing and then figuring out what it is you actually want, is the step to write your thoughts and ideas down. The process of analyzing and brainstorming is only helpful when you can get to a written result. Written thoughts and ideas do not get lost and get more often set into reality than those not written down. When writing down your thoughts and ideas, make sure to include your family into the process. It is very likely that you will get your kids to oppose. At this point it is important not to give in to their begging or their tantrums and to stand a firm ground. Your family’s desires are what brought your family on the crazy schedule in the first point. Introduce your family to the new schedule in a calm, positive manner, emphasize what is good or even better about this new schedule and maybe tell them what was wrong with the old schedule, how it left you and everyone else restless and breathless.

4. The fourth important step in balancing your schedule is to follow the new schedule for at least one week. Check the schedule for the activities to be done today and make sure that you do not include anything else. Do not add to the schedule for the first week. Instruct everybody to look at the schedule at the beginning of the day and also make sure that they check it and stick to it in the flow of the day. If the schedule holds chores, get everybody to be responsible for their participation in the housework.

5.Lastly to get your busy schedule balanced, be flexible. After that first week of sticking to the schedule, analyze the week. Maybe there have to be a few changes to make it run smoother or to accommodate the one or other family member a little better. But when tweaking the schedule, do not add too much, to not throw it overboard. Even if you tweak it, follow the schedule for a few weeks till it sticks with you naturally and by then you will love your more balanced family life.

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