How to Add Structure to Your Family Schedule
What exactly is structure? It is specific rules and routines that focus on maintaining consistent times for actions within your family. Structure can help every family feel a sense of togetherness, a sense of belonging and a sense of well being. Here are a few ideas on how to add structure to your family structure.
Putting structure into place
Structure thrives when there is consistency, predictability and follow through with actions. Often these are the most difficult parts behind structure. Consistently heading to bed at a set time or having regular meal times as a family can be derailed because of distractions like electronics, chronic lateness or any other activity. The best ways to achieve consistency is by setting that time as sacred with a strong stop time before that. The more consistent you are, the more predictable everyone’s life is. Knowing that there is no other option, that the structure can’t be denied, then life proceeds calmly. Follow through may be difficult in the moment because of distractions. However, the more you adhere to the rules and the plan, the easier follow through becomes. These three actions are interrelated and lead to your success.
When to start creating structure
If your family life lacks order, now is the time to start creating structure. As a parent, you establish daily routines including school for your family. Your daily self care routines are important.
- Start small. The best starting point is having a structure for bedtime. This way you are getting a great night’s rest.
- Get input and buy in from your family. Hosting a discussion during a family meeting helps everyone be heard and creates a collaborative strategy.
- Create house rules within your structure so that everyone works as a team to embrace the structure.
- With work from home, establish and post a schedule for your day. Be sure your work day ends to permit family time together.
- Use automated devices to help you with structure for self care. Alexa, Siri and Google Home can all be programmed to share your routine.
Structure is not easy to accomplish however well worth the investment in time and energy.
The family meeting on Sundays saved me more than once! I also had charts and schedules on the wall for the kids’ schedules. Kids also had rotating chores. One idea is to let kids do the chores they want to do (if you can figure that out), to have fewer complaints. This is all so critical to a smoothly operating home. Thanks for sharing!
Having all these visual aids makes it easier for every parent. No more talking and nagging – simply say check the chart!
There’s no question that kids thrive with some structure. So having some family rules and routines they can count on creates a stable family unit. However, I also get that life can be chaotic and requires, at times, some flexibility. So finding that balance between scheduled and non-scheduled times is important too.
@Linda you are so right about balance. It is a good plan to have a plan, but temper it with flexibility!