September 5, 2022
Fall resets a routine and schedule for families, but it also carries some chaos at the same time. Sports practices, homework, carpooling, games, piano practice, dance, youth group, etc. Back to school means back to crazy for many.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are intentional steps we can take to proactively take control of our family rhythm and set anchors of connection and stability that keep us unified as a family.
Here are 3 things that anchor our family in the fall
THE FAMILY WHITE BOARD
The family white / chalk board in the kitchen has been a staple. On Sunday I write the weekly schedule for each person in this space. This lets everyone know where people are supposed to be and when. It also saves having to answer a lot of questions (esp. with younger kids). They develop independence by looking to see what their own schedule is and taking charge of it. The white board also helps me organize our week when I see the bigger picture of what is going on with the family as a whole.
This one single tool is one of the most simple yet effective organizational tip I have discovered for busy families.
Dinner at the table is one of the easiest-hardest rituals we can have as a family as we reset our families for fall. It’s easy b/c everyone needs to eat. It’s hard because delivering dinner 365 is a challenge, and we have to be the ones to provide it. But it’s worth it. Research backs up its importance, but I don’t need research to tell me what I see and experience at my own table.
I see the connection it provides and the stability it offers day after day. Have a plan for the table. Ask good questions, report on interesting current events and ask everyone’s opinions, encourage brothers and sisters to be interested in their siblings.
Note: Meal planning at the front of the week is part of setting you up for success. I write what we are having for dinner each day next to the day of the week on the white board. It helps me stay on track and keeps the guess work out of what we are having.
Staying connected takes some intention when schedules are busy. We often have to plan it. Having a Family Night one night a week is a great solution. Family night is one evening set aside where the family spends more time together than normal. It can include a nice dinner, dessert, and an activity.
For our family nights, sometimes we’d play kickball, a board game, make ice cream sundaes, or read a book out loud. The idea is to have a common experience and simply enjoy each other’s company. As kids get older, the activities change, but the concept is the same.
When the kids get to be teens, we often invite their friends over for family night. Everyone has more fun!
OK – I’d love to hear your ideas. What do you do to re-set your family’s rhythm for fall?