As you are starting the new year, are you thinking about what the year looks like and what your family calendar looks like? Some of this schedule will depend on how many activities your children are involved in and how involved you are outside of the home. Having a family calendar can help everyone to know what is happening and what role they play in the family schedule and environment.
Are you not sure how to create this schedule? Are you trying to determine what to put on this calendar? Some helpful items to have on it are days off of school, activity times, and what other family commitments exist. It can also help to determine who is doing what at home in terms of chores and other responsibilities. Some will say that their children are too young to help with chores or that they are too busy, but this is also being part of the family team. The age and schedule of your children will help to determine what this looks like in terms of family responsibilities.
A good way to start with this calendar is to determine what activities and family commitments are already planned. These have already been determined so they are already part of the calendar. If children are not in activities or it is a new season, then ask your children what they would like to be involved in and if there are new activities they want to try. The number and frequency of the activities should be a discussion with you and your children, but also think about what they can handle. Depending on their age, they may not be aware of what limits they may have and may want to participate in more than they can handle. You can always change the amount and frequency, but trying to determine what is appropriate is always beneficial. Also think about what commitments you have outside of work and school hours so that these are considered when thinking about the activities and commitments. Think about the family commitments that exist so that these are also added. They may not be as frequent which also means it may be easier to forget about them.
Once these factors have been considered think about the other responsibilities that need to happen in the home such as chores. There are always chores that everyone can do no matter their age or activity commitments. For younger children, they can help with putting away their toys and helping to clean up small areas. Children who have more commitments with schoolwork and activities should still be part of the family team so finding things they can do is important. Some of this will be keeping their room clean, but can also include putting away their clean clothes or doing their own laundry. They can also help empty the dishwasher or take out the garbage. The more they are involved in determining these things, the easier it is for them to take ownership and complete these tasks.
With chores, it can be beneficial to talk with your children about what they think they can handle and what they are willing to do. While they may need to be responsible for more than they stated, it is important to determine why that was their answer and what is reasonable. It is also important to talk to everyone about the importance of the family working as a team. Everyone in the family is part of this team so they all need to contribute.
As you are thinking about creating this family schedule, remember that it will most likely need to be changed at times. While there may some items that stay consistent, not everything will. Be open to these changes and be flexible with the schedule. If you need help in creating this schedule, feel free to reach out to me