With any family, big or small, it can be difficult just taking the kids out to dinner and don’t even mention traveling, skiing or camping trips. Sure you go and do all of these things, but are you truly happy and enjoying your children while doing them? Here are some tips and advice on organizing your big or small family so that you can enjoy them as well as yourself, and in the end, everyone has fun!
In order to be organized for outings you first must be organized at home. Having everything in its place in bins, baskets or whatever you prefer makes everything from finding shoes for hiking, gloves for skiing and goggles for swimming easier and less chaotic when it comes time to going out. Bins are an inexpensive way of putting everything in its place and make sure that you label them.
One of the most basic and what can be the most chaotic of all family outings is going out to dinner. If all of the people around you are giving you dirty looks there is probably a good reason for it. Here is the thing, if your children do not behave well at home during meal times, then they are not going to behave well in public. If you don’t expect your children to sit down and talk quietly at home, then they are not going to do it when you are out. In fact, it will be ten times worse because they have an audience. Not only is it fun for you, but it is fun for your kids when everyone sits down together and takes a turn talking about their day and you also learn a lot about your kids. If you establish a routine at home of them sitting down and talking quietly, you can also have just as much fun when you eat out. And, remember, you are the parents and yes you can make them do this. That really goes for all outings, when your children are not expected to behave well at home they will not behave well when you are out and it is no fun for you, them or anyone around you.
Before going on a day trip like skiing, you really have to start the night before. Make sure that all clothing is clean and laid out and equipment is ready to go. If you have a big family, one thing that may help to stay organized is duffel bags. Separate the boys stuff into one bag, the girls in one and your husband and your self in another. If everything is easy to find, well need I say more? Drop off everyone at the front entrance, unload and then have one adult go park. Everyone takes their stuff inside, gets dressed where it is warm and then stuff your bags into a cheap locker. There are other ways of course, but this really is a time and whine saver.
If you are going on an overnight trip, of course depending on the amount of time that you will be gone and where you are going matters in how much organizing and the amount of time that you start getting ready. If your children are at reading age, you should be able to give them a list of things they need to pack and send them on their way. You will need to check their suitcase before leaving the house, preferable the day before leaving and not thirty minutes before, but this can save a ton of time as well as resentment from you having to do everything for everybody. Children are capable of a lot and they feel a sense of accomplishment for helping out. Establish a routine at home, organize yourself and most importantly, have fun.
For more family organizing ideas you can follow me at ptoft.blogspot.com