There is no doubt that having a large family is huge fun (pun intended). However, sometimes the logistics of getting your entire tribe organized can get pretty insane. This is especially true for those times when you’re all getting ready to travel or just before a large family vacation.
During these moments, tempers can flare, and tantrums are thrown. Alongside this, things can go missing and tasks are left unsown. So how do you actually stay on top of all this?
We spoke to some super moms and super dads with large families who’ve managed to keep their sanity during the wildest times. Here are some valuable strategies that we’ve learnt from them all.
- Get organized
Taking charge of a large family is the equivalent of running a complex operation. The only difference is the employees are liable to scream, cry and sometimes even poop themselves.
Having spoken to dozens of parents and couples, the one thing almost everyone agrees on is the fact that organization is key. Just like how Don Vito Corleone organizes his family, so can you.
This doesn’t mean organizing hits and planning pickups, what we mean is that you should take time out every day to organize your family’s schedules. A simple whiteboard or printed out Excel sheet will do fine.
Whether you’re taking note of where the kids have to go or what errands need to be run, listing down all pertinent tasks helps you plan out your day. Also, as an added benefit it provides you with a point of reference should things suddenly go awry.
If you’re always on the move, you can always use Google calendar to help you schedule things and set reminders.
- Set up a routine for the family
While variety may be the spice of life, kids thrive on routine and stability. With a particularly large household, the regimented approach may be just what the doctor ordered.
Every day, make sure the kids stick to a preset routine. From waking up for school and getting ready to getting homework done and going out to play. This gives your kids a sense of security and they’ll do that much better when they know what is coming and when.
As a parent, this helps you better plan your schedule and make any required adjustments to the schedule. When you’ve got a solid routine laid down, you’ll be able to tackle any challenges that the world is going to throw at you.
This also works particularly well when you’re travelling for family vacations. Being in an unfamiliar environment, it’s only natural that kids will seek out security and familiarity. The comfort of routine will often put them at ease and hopefully reduce any crankiness or tantrums.
- Have the kids play outside more
We live in a world where smart devices and the internet reigns supreme. Fussy kids are soothed with the latest cartoons or games on tablets and smartphones. Consequently, the overreliance on such gadgets means that parents are no longer parenting but letting their kids be distracted by devices.
On the long-term, obesity and issues related with sight can become a major problem. Kids end up being glued to their devices and don’t get enough fresh air and sunshine.
Hence instead of taking the easy way out, get your kids to run around in the yard like or have a kickaround at the park. Not only does this build up social skills and teaches kids to value the outdoors, playing outside gives the entire family time to breathe instead of being cooped up all day.
- Plan out your weekly menus
Cooking for a large household can be the equivalent of preparing meals for a small regiment. Growing kids have an insatiable appetite, like horses preparing for the Kentucky Derby. They need proper nutrition if they’re to grow up strong and healthy.
While it may sometimes be easier to rely on McDonalds and other fast food joints, these empty calories only serve to increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. Instead of sweating over what to cook during mealtimes, prepare a weekly menu schedule of what is to be served throughout the week.
This allows you to plan out your shopping whilst saving you the headache of worrying over what needs cooking. Initially, it may seem to be difficult but with dozens of healthy, family-friendly recipes available here, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
With the right skills and planning, managing your happy, healthy family becomes a cinch and you’ll be able to spend more time bonding and less time fighting. For more family-friendly articles like this visit us at Largerfamilylife.com.