Sick of chaotic morning and after-school schedules? There’s a lot to do. Getting everyone up, dressed, fed, packed and ready to go for the day is no small feat. It’s something that requires a schedule and prior planning so that you can get the most out of the day with minimal stress.
But creating and implementing a daily schedule can be easier said than done, and once it’s created, it doesn’t necessarily mean your kids will want to follow them. That’s why we’ve come up with a few fool-proof daily schedule strategies your kids will stick to.
Don’t Keep the Schedule to Yourself
Now you may have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done and when it will be done in your head, or perhaps you have it listed in the calendar on your phone, but your kids are probably clueless. If they don’t know the tasks and deadlines set in your mind, to them it may feel like they are flying by the seat of their pants to meet your verbal deadlines.
You need to make sure your kids are aware of the schedule and know what’s expected of them each day. If they don’t know what you’re schedule is, it will be hard for them to stick to.
Get Them Involved
When your kids are involved in the process of creating the daily schedule, they’ll be more invested and keen to follow it. There’s no doubt they may want to add things and expand that schedule beyond the realms of normality, so it’s your responsibility to reign it in, come up with the primary inclusions yourself beforehand and get them excited about them.
Also, while you may naturally want to go ahead and do everything for your kids as part of your schedule, loosen the reigns a little bit and let your kids have a little bit of control over their morning routine. This can include picking out the clothes they will wear, putting their books and lunch in their own bags and choosing how to do their hair.
Avoid any misunderstanding about the schedule your family is on and invest in a pinboard or whiteboard that your entire family can see. By putting the daily schedule on this board in a visual way for all to see, no one can argue with you about what should be done, when it should be done and by whom.
You can lay this board out in multiple ways. You could divide the board up into the days of the week and use post-it notes to show what task needs to be completed on what day and what time. Otherwise, it can be divided by household members, identifying what each family member is responsible for in a day.
For your kids, include everything they should be doing in their day (particularly in the morning) including brushing their teeth, eating breakfast, putting on their shoes etc. You could even use pictures in your daily routine chart to make it more enticing to your kids.
Make The Daily Schedule Fun
Following a daily schedule may not sound fun, but it can be. Setting time limits for each task could be a great way to turn each chore into a challenge for the kids. They can race against the clock and even each other to get everything done in time.
Alternatively, you could opt for the positive parenting solutions method whereby you identify the things they look forward to the most in their day and make it so that all the not so fun stuff in the checklist must be done first before they can do that fun thing. That way, they’re more likely to get the not so fun stuff out of the way much quicker - making for a generally calmer and more efficient daily routine.
Keep Gaps in the Schedule
You don’t want every hour of every day completely structured and stifled. Leave gaps for spontaneous freedom, fun or relaxation. What you choose to do in these gaps is up to you but make the most of it, whether it be to get a bit of ‘me’ time, spending some quality time with the kids or spending some quiet time with your hubby.
Your kids will appreciate it too because sticking to a tight schedule all day and every day can be tiring and monotonous for everyone. They can even come up with their own ideas of fun things to do to fill in those gaps and add them to the daily schedule board. These fun-filled gaps will also tie in perfectly with the positive parenting solutions method mentioned prior.
Family meetings can be an incredibly valuable way to make sure the entire family is on board with the schedule. It’s an opportunity where parents and kids alike can make changes or additions to the schedule whether it be more time for homework, having a new bedtime routine or fitting in soccer practice after school.
As a family, you should be working together to achieve your combined goals, so make sure that is always expressed in your family meetings. How often you hold family meetings is up to you. Once a month is usually enough and they can happen sooner if any major changes to the daily routine come up.
Are you looking for a childcare centre to fit into your daily schedule? Here at the McDowall Village Childcare Centre, we can make the childcare pickup and drop off portion of your day as smooth as possible. Contact us today to book a tour and see our centre for yourself.