Overscheduled? Find Balance with These Time Planning Tips

By: Jolene Roehlkepartain

So now that summer is coming to a close and the school year is just around the corner, sit down with your family and talk about the fall schedule. What do family members want to do? How much time will those activities take? How can you still have family time together once school starts? Read More >

Ask yourself these questions:

1. How many evenings a week do family members have a scheduled activity?

2. How many times a week does your family eat together?

3. Which family member has the most scheduled activities? (This could be one activity that meets many times each week or a number of activities that each meet once a week.)

4. Which family member has the least scheduled activities?

5. Which family members are stressed by too much activity or too little activity?

6. How many times a week does your family have fun (or hang out) together?

7. What does each family member think about each person’s schedule?

Having trouble making time for family time? Try these tips.

We know a family of six (four kids and two parents), who creates boundaries around activities. Their rule: Each person can be involved in only one extra-curricular activity during each season. This boundary made family members think carefully about which activity they wanted to do and why. When one family member chose a sport, the other family members would show up to cheer them on.

Other families take the approach of reserving a certain evening for family time. Some choose a Sunday evening (since few activities occur on that night). Others pick a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Others create a flexible work schedule so that family members can be together from 3 to 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.

Sometimes, it’s important for a family member to spend a lot of time in a certain activity. For example, some working parents are also students. Some teenagers put a lot of time into a theater production at school or on a sports team. These intensive experiences help family members meet goals and master skills. However, family members need to keep in mind that it’s not good for the family for a family member to sacrifice family time all the time for their own personal agenda.

Tell Us:——> How do you make time for family time?
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Sources:

1. William J. Doherty, Ph.D., The Intentional Family: How to Build Family Ties in Our Modern World (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1997).

2. Putting Family First.

3. Time Together, ParentFurther.

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