Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Honey, I've Lost the Kids

Being a father of two kids, ages 9 and 11 and in a two income household things get pretty crazy around here.  Between two soccer teams, football, karate, school, games, gets crazy!  This fall we have become those parents who have over scheduled one of our children.  Oops.  One kid in 3 different sporting activities is a bit challenging to say the least.  Now, I won't go into the details of how that happened, just rest assured that it won't happen again.  Of course, school comes first as long as he can continue to keep his grades up and meet his extra curricular commitments he'll continue; but school comes first.

So - now that you know what a bad parent I am, let's get on to the whole point of the post - How do you keep your family on schedule and of course, not losing any kids?

I remember quite well when I was left at church by my Mom.  No biggie, I mean she did have 4 other children so misplacing one was not so far fetched.

I would love to hear your thoughts, systems, plans, anything you've got and I'll happily share some of what we're using here.

Lately, I've been using Google products more and more - I like to check every so often to see what's new and whether or not I can use it at home or in my work.  Google Calendar is perhaps one of their BEST products I use to keep me on time and on track.  You can create a calendar for each child, work, parent, etc. and share them.  So that while my work calendar is one that I update, I can share my kids calendars with my wife.  That way when one of us updates an event in my daughter's calendar - it's updated for all of us - instantly.

Also, it updates to my phone and to my Outlook.  The nice thing about this is that you can update the calendar in your phone with Google Calendar no matter what type phone you use!  An iPhone, an Android - Duh - or even a Windows Mobile, like mine!  So if I'm on the fly and update a family calendar from my cell phone calendar - within minutes my Google Calendar reflects the change as does my wife's Blackberry.

Low Tech
Have no desire to use technology to keep you and yours organized? - Resistance is Futile - Relax, I have an answer to that.  I use a white board in our family scheduling as well.  This works primarily for the kids, so that they can instantly look and see what they have on the docket for the week/day.  I purchased a mid sized white board and hung it in the kitchen; where we will all see it.  On Sunday nights, I draw out a grid with rows for days of the week and columns with each of our names on it.  Then, I fill in what the plans are for the week for each person.
This works pretty well for the kids - as they can simply look and see what they have to do today - and they often add things themselves which helps to teach them organizational skills. (See I'm not a totally bad parent)!

So, now that I've shared, it's your turn.  What tools do you use to keep your family on track?  The kid you keep from getting lost could be mine!

Chris WoodREALTOR®
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