10 Tips for Managing and Organizing your Family!
1) Prepare a weekly healthy menu ahead of time. Once a week go grocery shopping for the ingredients you'll need to be able to stick to your menu. Make sure to include healthy low sugar breakfast items to start your kids off with brain fuel. Remember to include healthy after school snacks and items for extra curricular events during the week. On a budget? Check the local sale adds before heading out to shop. On the day of your extra after school activities stock a small ice chest full of healthy snacks or a prepared meal to have on hand to avoid the temptation of the fast food urge. Get the kids involved in learning about making healthy choices and planning out the weeks menu and getting them involved in cooking the meals.
(One of my fondest memories as a little girl was when my mom and grandma were in the kitchen cooking dinner. I was around three so to keep me occupied, I had my own cook station. A tray with a bowl and stirring utensils and extra food scraps, egg shells, vegetable scraps and such to mix away and cook my imaginary meal.) Always wash children's hands before and after handling food.
2) When your young children arrive home from school. Go through their backpacks looking for notes from the teacher, homework, or flyers for other schools events. Update your calendar right away with any new events and talk about your child's day. Make sure to ask your older children how their day was and what go over their assignments they are working on.
3) Give your children a short break before starting on schoolwork. They have just spent several hours at school working on schoolwork. Sometimes their brains are on overload and they just need a mental break.
Let them refuel with a healthy snack, have a break and then set up a scheduled time for homework.
4) Stick to a reasonable bedtime during the week. It's fun to fudge on the bedtime once in a while on the weekends. Children need plenty of sleep and a routine. To make bedtime fun, incorporate reading to your children every night before bed. As your children get older have them read to you. This could be a group activity with all the children or a chance to make your rounds for individual time. By sticking to a reasonable bedtime, you are guaranteed some quiet time to do what you need to do.
5) By having some of your children take their baths or showers the night before you can alleviate some of the crunched bathroom time in the morning.
6) Have a place set up for coats, backpacks and school assignments. Make it a habit to have your children put everything in their places the night before so in the morning it's all together and ready to grab on the way out the door. In the morning before leaving have a gut check moment! Check in with your intuition and feel if everything feels on track. Are you forgetting anything, is curling iron or coffee pot left on? Take a deep breath. Let intuition and fun guide you through your day!
7) If you are planning on taking any refrigerated items with you in the morning, place your keys in the icebox next to the items to be remembered the night before! You are not going anywhere without your keys if your driving. If your riding the bus, a bicycle or walking. Place a note in a visible spot to remind yourself so you don't forget.
8) Use electronics wisely. We all enjoy the convenience of a cell phone, black berry, texting, Keep in mind there's a time and place for everything including electronics. When it's homework time, turn them off or place in another room to limit distraction unless they are required for homework. When it's time to give the kids a bath, read a bedtime story and tuck them in for the night. Turn your phones off. Keep this time as one of your special times together during the day. As most mothers know some of the most thoughtful connected conversations arise out of these moments.
9) Use a daily calendar. Put it in a visible location and get the whole family involved in writing in their activities. You can even put the daily chores on it or make a special one for chores. Be flexible, change is constant and unpredictable. By demonstrating to your children how to be able to go with the flow your are teaching them a life long skill.
10) Most of all make time for you! Whether you're a mom, dad, grandparent, uncle, aunt or caregiver you must make time for you. Take time to relax and reflect on your day. A warm bath or meditation is a great way to renew your spirit. Enjoy the process. Children grow up in blink of an eye. Savor every moment.
When you're having a difficult day remind yourself this to shall pass. When it's a good day be thankful and reflect on each wonderful moment.
Written by: Carol Lawrence
Please feel free to leave comments on helpful ways you organize your family. Every family is different, everyone has different schedules and various ideas. I would love to hear yours!
Carol Lawrence is the owner of Social Media Help 4 U, a virtual based business that supports authors and businesses based on integrity. She co-authors the blog Intentional Conscious Parenting and is an assistant editor for the family and parenting community at All Things Healing.