The Home Calendar and Family Schedules
- Maintain a family calendar in a central location for all family members to utilize.
- If your spouse has an upcoming business dinner - have him enter the information.
- If the kids have practice, a recital or a school activity - hold them responsible for
logging it onto the central family schedule.
- Have each person use a designated colored pen for marking their event. This will
also avoid confusion as to whose commitment the entry is for.
- This will be a great way to keep track of where everyone is as well as allow you
to plan your own schedule around other family commitments you may have to
- Let the troops know you need advance notice in order to do your best at
accommodating everyone. If they fail to log the event, then you can't be
expected to always work it in to your "already busy" schedule.
- Avoid keeping a set of calendars for every activity you are involved in. That is a
prime way of "over- scheduling" yourself. You need to see ALL of your activities
for the week at a glance to get the full prospective.
The Home Chore Schedule:
Have a family meeting.
Create a list of chores that you need to delegate: recycling, table setting, cooking,
table clearing, groceries, dishes, taxi service, trash collection, yard work, room
cleaning - (definitely their own bedrooms at minimum) and laundry tasks(wash,
fold and put away).
Come to an agreement on sharing responsibilities.
Appeal to those in your family that it is a team effort that is needed to keep the
home running efficiently.
Be brave. Admit that you need help. Super-mom/dad exists only on the t.v. !
Maintain your calmness throughout the entire meeting.
* do not allow your buttons to be pushed
* say nothing if you will be raising your voice
* take a few deep breaths and start again
* don't be afraid of stating what is and is not "acceptable behavior"
* make a list of ALL the things you already do
* instead of "telling" each family member to do a chore - ask for
suggestions with your dilemma.
* then say nothing.
Note: this can be compared to buying a car. Did you realize that after you state your
price - whoever speaks first forfeits their offer?
* the silence may feel very uneasy...yet hang in ... say nothing. This is
* You can be assured someone else will break the uncomfortable silence
and volunteer to do something.
* commend and celebrate the team effort.
Note: by volunteering to do a specific chore - rather than being told to do it - the odds
increase dramatically that help is on the way.
Create an agreement for kids
Be very specific -- kids won't do it on purpose and you can be assured they will
find your loopholes.
Decide what are the instances where a concession may be made? Can chores be
traded? Who is responsible for seeing they are completed? List the penalties of
breaking the agreement.
Whatever you do...create goals that are realistic. You are aiming at enhancing
self-esteem ...not setting anyone up for failure.
Create penalties that you will stick to.
Do not create consequences that will be hard for you to follow through with.
Know that kids "test" adults. This is not unique to your specific environment. It
is the nature of being a child.
Remember: The art of discipline is also an expression of love. You are not taking
away from a child's "childhood" by teaching self-discipline and responsibility. It is
another face and extension of your love.
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