Your weeks of chaos and frustration are behind you. I’m going to share with you the secret ingredient to an efficient household. No more kids waiting at practice because both parents believe the other is picking up the child. You will no longer miss events because you think they are scheduled for next weekend. No more teenagers asking for money when there is not enough time to visit the ATM for the post game event they forgot to tell you about. The remedy to these and other household arguments is a weekly calendar meeting.
Not only will calendar meetings dial down the crazy in your life, they also develop behaviors that will transform your children into functional adults.
8 Ways Calendar Meetings will Change your Family
Discussing weekly events and planning who will take responsibility for important tasks establishes a sense of safety. Children know how their needs are met and develop a role of contribution to the household.
Learning to follow through with agreed upon duties, especially those actions that directly impact the household, not merely the self, adds to personal credibility and dependability.
When events overlap, or may lead to a late dinner, opportunities exist for family members to ponder possible solutions. Children practice solution-oriented approaches to situations. This skill will serve them well in their adult lives.
Creating a plan is far more effective than a hasty reaction to a forgotten activity or an unpredicted late meal. Surprises always pop up, but having an existing plan, or even the act of practicing creating plans, will lead to a less chaotic family response to unexpected circumstances.
Calendar meetings require teamwork both during the meeting and throughout the week. Families can rotate roles and responsibilities. Children learn when to speak up, when to listen, and how to play a role in household management.
Through calendar meetings, members of the household are keenly aware of how their actions impact the functioning of the household either positively or negatively. Participating in the discussion more explicitly emphasizes the relevance of designated tasks.
Calendar meetings provide opportunities for communication, and actually require household members to share with one another. Children learn to speak, listen, and compromise.
Calendar meetings validate the importance of organization when families celebrate with high-fives at the end of the week for a job well done. When you look back and see how dividing up tasks, logging events into a calendar, and creating to-do lists decrease the chaos and frustration in your household, you will ask yourself why you didn’t include them in your weekly routine years ago.
How to “Do” Calendar Meetings
Now that you understand why you cannot afford to go another week without a calendar meeting, allow me to explain how it’s done.
- Determine who will participate – All adult members of the household and developmentally prepared children should participate in weekly calendar meetings. Children who are old enough to have activities, maintain a planner or calendar, and follow through with agreed upon tasks, are ready.
- Schedule your weekly meeting – That’s right. Write the calendar meeting on your calendar. Make the sessions a regular part of your family’s routine. Try to find a time that will work for most weeks. My household conducts calendar meetings after we clean up dinner on Sunday evenings. We’ve been practicing long enough and with such regularity that the children often gather their planners after dinner without prompting (responsibility).
- Conduct your calendar meeting – Participants meet with their calendars, planners, digital devices, etc… and put aside all distractions. This is not a time for multi-tasking.
Share significant events scheduled during the day, which may impact the usual routine. Are there field trips, workshops, or meetings?
Collaborate to decide who will take responsibility for important tasks. Who will provide rides? Do children know how they will get to their events? Who will cook dinner?
What tasks are there? Are there forms requiring signatures? Do we need money from the bank machine prior to Wednesday evening’s event? Take care of what you can during the meeting and schedule times to complete other tasks so they are not overlooked during the busy week. Write these jobs on the calendar.
Discuss big events on the horizon. Is the next week exceptionally full? Perhaps some extra effort this week will make things run more smoothly. Will one parent work out of town during the next week? Careful meal planning this week may help.
Plan meals. Consider the events on the calendar and determine which meals would fit well for each day. Decide who will prepare the meals.
Create To-Do lists. Each person generates a list of tasks. Ensure tasks get done by keeping the list somewhere handy.
See how manageable this is? Our household has greatly benefitted from our weekly sessions. Your family is capable of incorporating calendar meetings into your weekly routine, too. Download the Calendar Meeting file. It contains a guide and agenda to use as your household establishes your own calendar meeting routine. Here’s to fewer stress-filled weeks!
Let me know how the calendar meetings contributed to the functioning of your household, or share how your family organizes itself in the comments section below.
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