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Family Time Management Focal point A: Get Moving! In my family it has been my job ever since getting married (nearly 30 years ago) to raise the dead. Those who do not have “morning people� in their family will know exactly what I mean.

Getting the children to school can provide a week day focal point for the whole family. However, it is the time between getting up and walking through the school gate that can make a world of difference between a success or a mess of a day. If you are the raiser of the dead you also need to take into account how long it takes for each one to get moving. Raising the dead may mean bringing them coffee or something to get them to sit up in bed, even breakfast in bed. I can just see how that last thought can make some people shudder, especially if they regard getting up as a matter of discipline. There are families who run like a military operation. Then there are those families (like mine when both children were still at school) where the time between getting up, and getting kids to school resembles the chaos of an unorganised riot during a wildcat strike – shouting and arguing included. I realised it could not carry one like that. At first I tried the sergeantmajor approach of ordering them to get moving with firm command and control. I decided this was not working when I saw how miserable they were and how the arguments before getting to school filled the house with acrimony and discontent. It certainly did not make me happy.


I also realised I was part of the problem. I was sleeping too late and getting them up too late as a result. I started raising the dead in the morning much earlier. Eventually I found a time that worked. I included time to do my own necessary chores. Since my wife was also working, and for many years has been the chief breadwinner of the family, this meant making everyone else’s sandwiches, getting them breakfast and Milo and generally ensuring everything gets done as needed. So, what is actually the focal point here? Getting up? Getting the children to school, having breakfast? It’s all of that. The important thing is to look at the not negotiable time factors, like the time school starts, or you have to be at work. Sometimes events of the previous day can affect the focal points of the next one. Starting the day is determined by bedtime rituals of the previous day. Not every child has the same patterns. My son always was easier to get up than my night owl daughter. To summarise, you need to agree the following as a family: What needs to happen? This includes getting up, breakfast, organising school and sports kit, making and packing sandwiches, a morning meditation (important for myself) or a pre-test study session for one or more of the kids. Decide the order in which these events must happen. Explore how long each of these event actually takes. People may think it takes ten minutes to get to school, with the odd exception when it takes forty. Yet the exception could be the rule. Work this into your time for getting up. At least allow for a realistic time for each event to happen. See if some of the chores can’t be moved to the evening before. You could be surprised how setting a breakfast table or making lunches the night before can speed up the next morning. Decide if there are things which can run concurrently. One can switch on a kettle and run a bath, then make coffee and brush your teeth while the water is still running, depending on how long it takes to run the water. Take the focal point and work backwards with what needs to happen before it. Only then can you determine the time. If you discuss and agree these points as a family, it will be easier to execute. You will most likely have much more commitment than when you simply decide on your own as a Parenting Magazines what needs to happen, and how it must happen. You may even be surprised at what your spouse and kids raise as important – things you may never have considered. After agreement has been reached you can also gently remind them of it when they are being difficult in the morning.


Author Info: You will most likely have much more commitment than when you simply decide on your own as a Parenting Magazines what needs to happen, and how it must happen.

Family time management focal point a get moving