Many parents are familiar with the hectic demand involved with raising children who have a lot of activities.
This can have you running around town all week doing activity after activity, pickups and drop offs. You might even be exhausted before you get to the middle of the workweek.
This is usually not good for parents and the families in general because it causes other problems. Parents are drained, family time gets affected or schoolwork gets affected.
In addition, life can be hectic because you are now sharing your child’s time with an ex-spouse.
In this case, a compromise is necessary in being able to consider everybody’s needs.
What About Your Activity Schedule?
And finally, there is you.
If your life surrounds your children’s schedules, and you are caught up in being a soccer mom, a chauffeur or an event planner, then you are not considering your needs as well.
Take empty nesters for example. They have kids, raise their kids, anchor their lives on their children’s daily activities and then when their kids leave the nest, they no longer know who they are, without their children present.
What about your hobbies, work or other obligations?
What about your spouse’s needs?
Do you notice that you are growing apart or that you pass each other like ships in the night?
If these questions are resonating with you, then it is time to do something about it.
It is time to make a weekly schedule planner.
Balancing the Kids Activity Schedules
Having a structured environment is important for any family. And not having an activity schedule, even if it is a school week activity schedule, disrupts that necessary balance. However, it is not a requirement to follow your written schedule to the letter every day.
We all know that when you are dealing with children, there will be unplanned events. Such is life.
However, an activity schedule is there as a guide and you will have less stress, knowing that all your family needs are accounted for. As it relates to elementary school students, the arrangement is an important part of creating a sense of security and mastery.
If you are dealing with older children, then communication is paramount.
As it relates to maintaining a connection with these older kids, continuous communication and weekly objectives will take the place of that pattern of attachment demonstrated by younger children.
Having this joint family schedule will let the child know what the family’s goals are for that week and how they contribute to its attainment. Eventually, your child will get that sense of having mastered his environment and weekly goals.
Let’s examine some strategies to help you and your family with how to balance your children’s activity schedule.
Examine Your Day
Carry out an uncomplicated but reliable study of your family is spending their time.
Input this data into a weekly schedule planner and print it out. Examine each person’s daily activities.
Try to find the problem areas.
If one person is too busy, cut down the activities. In the case of a child, you can have him or her rotate hobbies depending on the season. Then troubleshoot how you can restructure it to get rid of the triggers for unruly behavior, high levels of stress, hunger, unfinished assignments, tiredness and overall wastefulness.
Rethink What You Want To Happen
In your mind, you must have an idea of how you would like an ideal day to go. Ask yourself these questions.
What time would you like the kids to get to bed?
What would you like to get done on that day?
How much playtime can you accommodate?
Where will the children be and who will pick them up?
Who has homework and how much time is needed to get it done?
Is there downtime?
Is there family time?
Is there adult alone time?
When and how will chores get completed?
Which child has chores that day and what will they get done?
All these questions will help you to create, draft and master the ideal activity schedule for your family. And remember to include your needs as well.
Jot It Down and Post It Up For Everyone to See
The activity schedule must be displayed somewhere, for all members of your family to view. Try to put it in high-traffic areas like your kitchen.
If you are a technologically-advanced family, send emails and set up electronic schedules. With Google and other schedule apps you can have reminders and alerts set up to do some work for you.
If you get opposition, as the parent, stand your ground. Lay down the rules. Your children will eventually get used to it.
Stick to the Plan
Revisit your schedule daily, to ensure that you are on track. After a while, it will become routine. Try to do everything as written, for an entire week.
Then revisit it if necessary.
Remind your kids to check also their activity schedules. Keep them accountable. Use the praise and reward system if needed. This will teach them responsibility.
Also, from time to time, you can alter your schedule. Remember, you can do a weekly, quarterly or annual schedule as you have a need.
There will be disruptions and emergencies. But wherever you can, get right back on schedule.