You would be shocked at how a simple schedule change can solve many quarrels and tensions. In our busy lives, we don’t make time for things we should. So now is a great time to start.
Think about adding buffers to your schedule; if you get into a traffic jam or if your child is dawdling, you’re not driven to madness. Within this framework, don’t forget to create enough lag time, downtime, opportunities for connection, unstructured play, creativity, and fun.
It comes back to reviewing the data and feeling like you know what’s going to happen. Have you worked out the data about when you or your child flips out? Or when your child is at their absolute craziest? Make a schedule and BOOM! You feel like you have a little “control.” It might not work every time, but at least you have a plan.
Children need structure and predictability in their lives. The parent must set the basic schedule of the day. It should be tailored both to the particular needs of the child and family as a whole. Develop a repertoire of habits into your plan that will help you de-stress and strengthen your self-care shield. Some of the things on yours might include regular exercise, yoga, taking a hot bath, and meditation. Can’t find the time? Involve the whole family. Put on music and dance together, go for a walk, put everyone to bed with books early on Friday night, and catch up on your sleep. Prioritize more sleep, and you will find ways to do it.
Creating rituals in your schedule will help your child feel safe and secure. Regular family events strengthen values and develop a sense of belonging in the family circle. When formulating your plan, think about traditions the family can do together. Some suggestions include:
- Friday Spaghetti night
- Tuesday Taco night
- Saturday movie night
- Pancakes each Sunday morning
- Bedtime story
- Family game night (e.g. cards, dominoes)
- Volunteer once a month
- Family prayer
- Evening walks
- Family hikes
- Weekly family meeting
- Annual camping trip
- Barbershop with dad
- Everyday special time with each child for 15-minutes
- Five-minute snuggle every morning
- Write a love note to slip into their lunch bag
- Schedule time to do an activity with your child (e.g. crafting, bike ride, pickleball)
- Tell your child that you love them every day
- Cook a meal and eat together
Here’s a printable PDF schedule that you can use to plan your family events.
Schedule (PDF 1mb)