Creating a Healthy Family Rhythm
About a decade ago when you would ask someone “how they were doing,” the natural habitual response would have been “fine.” Today the natural habitual response by most people is “busy!”
Our lives are full of many different moving pieces. Some days the pieces move in the same direction and other days everything is just moving--FAST! The commitments and demands on parents and their kids are sometimes by choice, football, baseball, dance or musical instruments, and other times dictated to by work, organizations and school.
Parents have to discover the system and rhythm that helps their family be successful. You can’t say “no” to everything. Homework is a good example here. Dads you probably remember back a few years ago when Allen Iverson was in a press conference talking about practice. Repeatedly with a disgusted voice he would say “we are talking about practice!” “Practice?” It’s easy to here the word “homework” inserted into those sentences. Parents have to discover how to help their child be successful with homework. Homework is just one of the many things that are vying for time and attention.
Discover the daily and weekly rhythms that put your family in a position to succeed. Here are a few things to help build success at home.
Identify the pieces. Write down all the reoccurring commitments and expectations on your families time. Once you stop trying to remember it all the pieces you give yourself a better chance to put the puzzle pieces in the right place.
Make a plan. Every person has 168 hours in a week. Even though it feels like others must have more time on their clock than you--they really don’t. Put activities and commitments not just on your calendar, but in specific blocks of time for things to get done. Things are more likely to get accomplished when they are scheduled.
Communicate and post the plan. Life for your kids will never get any slower. In fact it will only get faster. Help them learn how to manage tasks, time and their responsibilities. By communicating and posting the plan it helps them become accountable to getting things done, but you are also teaching them to schedule and manage responsibility.
Remember it’s okay to say no. Kids rarely see things considering the big picture. If they are hungry then they want a double cheeseburger, not paying attention that you are driving to their 2 hour football practice and they will get sick. It’s okay to limit activities and say “no” to some things. Having a plan helps you make wise decisions on when to say “no” and when you get to say “yes.”
Discovering a healthy rhythm for your family is not easy. Work hard to figure out what is best for your family. It will be worth it.