Family Schedules

Family schedules are so important to the sanity of any household! Whether you have three people in your home or seven-schedules are just as important to both.

First of all, for children, a schedule brings security. Children tend to respond much better when they know what to expect.

That’s why parenting experts tell us to warn a child ahead of time before we change activities. If they know that it’s almost time to leave the playground, for example, they will be more likely to leave without a fight when we tell them it’s time to go. If we just grab them by the hand, say it’s time to go, and start dragging them to the car, we’ll have a meltdown every time!

So, needless to say, family schedules will also improve our children’s behavior!

For adults, a schedule brings security as well. But it also provides much needed order to otherwise chaotic households. You will actually find time that you didn’t know you had!

We are all busy, but most of us also waste a lot of time without realizing it. A schedule helps us manage our time wisely, so that we have more time to do the important things-like spending time with our kids!

My family's never been on a schedule.
How do I get them on board?

The most important person to have on board with you is your spouse. If you are both in agreement that a household schedule is needed, and you are both willing to enforce it, you will be able to make your schedule work.

When you set up your schedule, get your kids involved. Just like anything else, if they have ownership in it, they will want to participate.

Make your family schedules kid-friendly. Use bright colors. Let your kids decorate it with stickers of their favorite characters. Or just let them draw pictures on it with crayons or markers. Hang it low enough for the kids to see it.

You’ll probably get a little more resistance from those teenagers-but do it anyway! They will benefit from this too. Again, let them be involved in making the schedule. And make sure to include some time for them to do the things they enjoy.

How do I make a family schedule?

There is no magic formula for making family schedules. You may have to change it a few times before it really works for your family. Just like everything else, it will take some time to get your family used to this. Don’t be too hard on them. Just keep at it!

First, think through your normal day and write it out on paper. To print a blank schedule to use as a worksheet, click here. There are enough columns for five family members. Print out more sheets, if necessary. Write each family member’s name at the top of a column.

(For a sample family schedule, click here. Notice how the schedule is color-coded for each family member, and for the family as a whole.)

There are some things that happen the same time everyday already. Fill in those items first for each person.

Next, go back through your schedule, comparing each member’s schedule. You may be able to fill in items for someone else by looking at another’s schedule. For example, when the kids get out of school, you may need to be there to pick them up. Don’t forget about driving time.

Once you get all of the mandatory things written into your worksheet, take a look at the time that is left. When do your kids need to do their homework or chores? When are you going to get your housework done? Have you included mealtimes (including meal preparation)? What about bedtime routines? Fill in these types of items now.

Finally, make sure you schedule in playtime, family time, and free time for each person.

Let the whole family look over the schedule, and make any changes that are needed. You may want to use your worksheet for a few days before making your permanent schedule, just to make sure it’s going to work for the family.

Tips to Make Your Family Schedules Work

1. Stick to it! Don’t give up…this is going to be so worth it!

2. The best schedules are flexible ones! Things are going to happen to get you off schedule. That’s just life…don’t let it stress you out!

3. This schedule is for a normal day. You will have things that don’t happen everyday, such as practices, games, or lessons, but are regular occurrences. Make allowances for those things on the days that they happen. It would be too confusing to have a separate schedule for each day. This is where you rely on that family calendar!

4. Be willing to change the schedule if it’s not working. If you only have 30 minutes scheduled for the kids to do their homework, and it’s regularly taking them 45 minutes, change the schedule to accommodate it. Don’t rush them to the point that they’re not doing a good job, just so you can stick to the schedule.

For more tips on Family Schedules, subscribe to “The Calm Mom” newsletter.

Family Routines| Family Time| Family Meals
Homework Help Tips| Family Chore Charts| Family Calendar

Subscribe to "The Calm Mom" E-zine

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Calm Mom.

Leave Family Schedules Page and Go Back to My Family Page