Have you ever forgotten about a doctor appointment, missed one of your kid’s softball games because it slipped your mind, or forgot to pack a lunch for your teenager?
Everyone forgets – even important things – once in awhile.
It doesn’t make you a bad parent.
But there are some things you can do to help keep your life a little more organized.
Planning your Family’s Lives
Between work, school, after-school activities, and all that being a homeowner entails, you’re a busy parent. It can be easy to forget even the simplest tasks. And, if you have a large family, you have even more to keep track of.
That’s where things like family planners and calendar apps come in handy.
Using devices, or even a pad of paper, to help you keep track of all of the kid’s games, doctor’s appointments, and your own plans can help you stop forgetting to be where you need to be. Here are some of the things you should consider using in order to keep your family organized.
1. Calendar Apps and Online Calendars
Busy professionals and entrepreneurs use calendar apps to keep all of their meetings and plans straight. It makes sense that they’d work for families as well.
Calendars like the one for Google can be accessed from any device, phone or even desktop computers, making it accessible to everyone in the family,
It’s also a color-coded calendar, which allows you to give each family member their own color. This helps you track your “master” calendar and figure out who needs to be somewhere and when they need to be there.
The most important part of the online calendar is reminding everyone to keep their schedules updated.
Google isn’t the only one to offer a calendar app. There are sundry calendars online and apps for them, you’ll just need to pick the one that offers the most for the needs of your family.
2. Using an Organizer
If you’re not into the “new” technology and prefer something a little more old-fashioned, you can use a normal planner or organizer to keep track of things.
Your family planner will be your responsibility though, so you’ll need to continually check in with family members in order to fill in the dates, times, and places they need to be at.
Your handwritten family organizer will still help you keep track of things. However, it won’t be easily accessed by the rest of the family. It can be hectic updating numerous handwritten family planners, so doing things online is always the best option.
Organizers will also help you keep the bills paid on time. Even if you’re not using it as the family calendar, invest in one to keep track of your own deadlines, appointments, and needs.
3. Print Calendars
If you’re the type of parent that doesn’t want their pre-teen (or even older or younger child) holding a cellphone, you’ll want to have some sort of visible calendar with the space for everyone to fill in their plans.
A normal wall calendar won’t work if you have more than two people in your family and busy schedules.
There are templates online for great printable weekly calendars. They have the space you need for everyone’s plans. You can print numerous copies and hang them on the fridge, wall, or on a corkboard where everyone can see them and use them. Make sure you hang them at a convenient height.
Keep in Communication
If your family communicates well with one another, it can be harder to forget about important plans.
Take a little time out each day – or at least once a week when everyone’s schedules are busy – to chat with your children and find out what they’re up to. Learn about who their friends are, how are they doing in school, and what they want to do for spring break.
Open lines of communication breed healthier families that know more about each other. It shows your kids you’re interested in their lives, even when they’re rebelling and acting like the last thing they want to do is talk to you.
Keeping the Calendar Updated
If you notice that someone in the household slacks on updating the calendar when they have something going on, call them out on it.
If someone is missing band practice because they failed to record it on the calendar app, it’s their fault, not the parent that was supposed to drive them there.
Teach your kids (and the adults in your household) some responsibility using a family calendar and maybe a little tough love.
Feature image via Notonthehighstreet.com