If you take a particularly clinical and reductive view, running a family is similar to running a business. You need to make sure the finances are there to keep the operation going, your most important assets (that is your children and each loving family member) provide untold value and must be invested in correctly, and of course, it’s essential to use time to your advantage if anything is to get done.

Thankfully, we don’t need to view our own families through a capitalist lens, even if we might expect our children to move out and get a job by a certain age.

That said, some of that wisdom still applies – particularly how important planning a schedule and a routine is. If you can nail this task, then the secret of parenting is half-revealed to you. Not only will this give you more energy to experience more with your loved ones, but vital tasks can be attended to on a repeated schedule.

Think about it – does disciplining your child to clean their room every week sound like a useful use of your time? Or could you teach them that their allowance will only be available if, by Saturday evening, their room is cleaned to your standards? As you can see, routines really do help.

So, let’s discuss how to plan a family life, and what that approach may look like:

Select Your Non-Negotiable Responsibilities

It’s good to schedule essential non-negotiable events or plans that you must attend ahead of time. This might start off simply, such as setting a bedtime for your children based on their age, and a window before that where they brush their teeth and wash their faces.

Your non-negotiable responsibilities may also include trips to the family dentist every four to six months, or planning out the pre-signaled school events throughout the year, such as attending athletic days or plays your child is starring in. Having those dates standing loudly and proudly on the shared calendar helps everyone know what to expect.

Plan “Free Periods”

It’s nice to have periods where you know you’re going to be productive or attend a certain event but can give yourself wriggle room to decide what may be best. So it could be that you have a free Saturday, and tell your children to prepare for it. Then depending on how you feel or how the weather is, you might go to the local swimming pool, head to the cinema, or enjoy food at your local pizza joint. When you plan free periods, you give yourself some creativity and can feel less bound to a particular task.

Plan For Sentimental Days

It’s always nice to make sure you have “sentimental days” noted ahead of time, if only to remind everyone in the family what to expect. Of course this will include birthdays, fathers and mothers day, your cultural holidays, but also fun little days of note, such as your pet’s birthday, the first day of your holiday, regular visits to see your grandparents, and more. This way, your children will grow up in a culture of looking out for the days that means something to those in your close family group. After all, no yearly plan is fulfilled without that.

With this advice, you’re sure to see the value in planning your yearly family life with accuracy.

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