If you have a busy family that seems to be traveling in different directions constantly, you know how challenging it can be to coordinate everyone’s schedules. Between projects and deadlines at the office, meetings with your children’s teachers, after school activities like soccer practice and troop meetings, not to mention the household chores, it can be a dizzying and confusing task. But if each family member is committed and communicates effectively, the task of creating a combined family schedule is a manageable one for you.
The first step is to commit to weekly family meetings. Make it mandatory that each family member is there so that the schedule can be discussed and organized. This should also double as a great opportunity to schedule quality family time together, so make sure it’s held at a time when everyone is able to attend.
Next, design a schedule that can be easily accessed by all family members, so that everyone knows where everyone else should be at any given time. This can be done by designing one yourself using materials such as poster board, markers, pushpins and index cards that can be pinned to the schedule, allowing for changes that can occur from week to week. It could also be designed on your family computer and saved onto the desktop, so each family member can readily access it and make changes if necessary. Have family members get into the habit of indicating on the schedule specific addresses or contact telephone numbers if the activity is new or changes from week to week. Be sure that care providers for your children such as grandparents and babysitters are familiar with your scheduling system and know how to use it.
Again, with a commitment from each family member and open lines of communication, the family schedule can be a useful tool for everyone.