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How do you manage anticipation and scheduling when every day has something in it (apart from the usual weekday getting-up-and-going-to-work-thing) and every weekend for the foreseeable future is booked?

Especially when it's not just yourself that you have to keep track of things for, but your entire family? Things that have to be remembered in our household any given week include the following:

Gym bag for Martin, Chess club for Martin, remind kids to do their homework (evening)

Gym bag for Martin & Karin, remind kids to take their homework (morning) and do their homework (evening), Piano lessons for Martin, Karate lessons for Karin, possible AWC activity for Liz

Minigang Music/Play group for Karin, Badminton for Martin & Karin, remind kids to take their homework (morning) and do their homework (evening), Choir practice for Liz

Gym bag for Martin & Karin, Hemspråk for Martin & Karin, remind kids to take their homework (morning) and do their homework (evening), Karate lessons for Karin, probable AWC activity for Liz

Swim lessons for Karin

Hockey practice for Anders

(every other) Scouts for Anders, Martin & Karin

We are still trying to get and keep all of this straight, and even though I am generally VERY organized and very good about remembering things and reminders, this level of activity has even me dropping the ball. If I'm not forgetting to remind the kids to pack their gym bags, I'm forgetting to make sure Martin has the house key. Neither kid seems to have a clue when it comes to remembering their own responsibilities yet and I'm getting a little frustrated at being the primary responsible rememberer for all of this stuff.

If you have kids, how did you train them to remember their own responsibilities? I'm not talking so much about remembering to drive Karin to karate or Martin to chess, but the stuff that is in the afternoon, after school, when I'm not even home to keep track of the do I teach them to keep their own schedule and deadlines in mind? Reminders in the morning are long gone from their heads by the time school is over and they are home playing computer games and unwinding.

I can feel the Barky turning gray just thinking about it all.

Edited to add: Since I've gotten a couple of comments suggesting it, I guess I should have made it clear that we already DO have a monthly family calendar showing what activities/events are scheduled for each day; which is kept updated, hung in a convenient right-before-we-go-out-the-door spot. Even so.
mood: stressed
music: Scott Phillips—It All Comes Down


When I read your post this morning I thought to myself, thank heavens we haven't reached that stage of kid busy-ness yet - we still have a year to go. Then I came home from a meeting only to find Caroline in tears because she'd been too busy playing and hadn't heard the teacher at school call for the kids taking swimming. Her babysitter tells me she was one of three kids without wet hair when she picked her up today. Oops!

Will wanted to take C out for ice cream to make up for it, but I'm sort of inclined to use this as a reminder moment for her instead. And if you come up with other ideas for kid/responsibility training I'm all ears over here!

julia @ kolokolo

I think the hardest part is that it feels like PUNISHMENT if they miss something because they forgot or I forgot to remind them :( But, I suppose it's also one of the best ways to learn responsibility and the art of remembering important things for yourself.

There is that little bad feeling that creeps in when you see your kids disappointed about something that could have been avoided. Still, I think it's worth it to try. Pick one of their activities (probably the one they seem least excited about), tell them you are not going to remind them or prepare their things for them anymore. If they want to keep doing it, they have to take the responsibility for it.

I also think it's not just getting them to learn responsibility but that your kids are probably old enough now that it would be good for them to see how much you have been taking care of for them and begin to appreciate that "stuff" doesn't just happen on its own.

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