Amy Kelly is the CEO of Parent eSource, the global resource, community, and social media trending firm she founded in 2010 to transform the communication between parents and their children. Parent eSource has achieved stunning results by helping countless parents better understand the changing world their teens live in and providing innovative resources to help parents connect with their connected teens Amy has established her revolutionary perspective, resources and technology and is a sought after expert in sharing her insight and parental connection advice.
With today’s busy schedules and families going in different directions all day long, it is easy to be
functioning more in chaos than in order. Here are four essential keys that will help you get a sense of
peace and organization in your lives.
I Don’t Have Time!
Before you can get control over much else, you have to get control over your time, and in a family
that involves the kids time, too. Set aside one night a week to sit down together as a family for a
few minutes and go over everyone’s schedule for the next ten to fourteen days. Calendar all the
appointments, driving and other responsibilities, school and after-school activities, work meetings, etc.
You may see, in calendaring together, that you have scheduled too tightly or with too many things.
Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D., a child psychiatrist and author of The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-
Parenting Trap, believes that enrolling children in too many activities is a big problem with far-reaching
effects. “Parents feel remiss that they’re not being good parents if their kids aren’t in all kinds of
activities,” he says. This often causes stress for children and parents alike. If your family’s schedule is so
packed that you don’t have any down-time then reevaluate and let go of the non-essential things.
Create Command Central:
Are you struggling to keep track of where everyone is supposed to be? Do you feel out of touch
with what the kids are doing? Did you misplace the soccer schedule—again? A Family Headquarters
Board may be the answer you’re looking for. Using whiteboards, chalkboards, bulletin boards or a
combination that works for you, create a space in a central location where everyone in the family
can access it regularly and easily. One section should be the family calendar. This helps children and
parents keep track of each other. Maddie reported that she loved the Family Headquarters Board when
her mother, a busy traveling motivational speaker, installed it in the kitchen. “Now I know when she’s
going out of town,” she said. Also include a place for messages and other sections such as menus for
the week, job charts, recipes, photos, school papers, etc. Keep it neat and up-to-date and this command
central will go far in keeping the family chaos in order.
Hurry Up, We’re Going to Be Late
How many times have you heard that? Or said that? Getting everyone out the door in the morning
can be a real challenge but spending a few minutes the night before can be key to a smooth start the
next day. Prepare lunches and store in the refrigerator along with water bottles, pack up school bags
and briefcases, set out keys and phones. Prepare breakfast cereal and bowls, spoons, fruit and coffee
mugs. Do everything you can do ahead the night before. Planning the week’s clothing can also be an
enormous time saver. Help kids chose clothes and set them on shelves or in hanging fabric bags or hang
outfits together in the closet. This helps avoid the last minute race through the laundry basket to find
the rumbled white shirt you need.
We’re all exhausted by the end of the day and cleaning the house is usually the last we want to do,
but a little bit goes a long way in conquering the daily clutter. Organization expert Shannon McGinnis
recommends a “10 Minute Tidy” – take just ten minutes to straighten up the kitchen, put away the toys,
or clean up the paperwork. Enlist the help of everyone for those ten minutes, set a timer, and you’ll be
amazed how much you can get done.
Try implementing these simple tips and see how successful you can be in getting control over chaos? Do
you have other ideas which help you and your family stay in control? Leave a comment in the box below
to share your experiences and suggestions.
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