Organizing Your Child's Schedule

Organizing a child around a schedule that revolves around two households is difficult but not impossible. The best thing you can do is give your children the tools they need to navigate their new normal. First is to model the time-management behaviors that you want them to see; they’re more likely to respect and learn the actions that you yourself perform. Next is to establish clear routines to help with the transition between households. Calm instead of chaos creates a feeling of safety for children who likely already feel pulled between two different family dynamics and expectations. A chart or calendar is an excellent tool, which will not only lay out when they can expect to be at which parent’s house, but can also detail daily tasks and what needs to be done before they’re ready to switch households.

Teach your children to take responsibility for their schedules, and praise not only their successes but also their efforts. Children respond when they know you’re paying attention to even their small accomplishments.

(Information gathered from “Raising an Organized Child in a Blended Family” from Family Advocate, published in Your Blended Family: A Guide for Parents & Stepparents.)