Lack of parental routine is the cause of much stress in many households today.
Children thrive on security, boundaries, routines and consistent order,
not chaos, drama, and irregularity.
It is usually the already stressed families and those having difficulties who ask for parenting plans and schedules as ways of controlling their daily lives.
It is interesting that these parents who are asking for a parenting plan sample are usually addressing the plans and timetables toward their infants and children.
However, I often find that the basic household system and existing parental routine are usually where both the problems and the answers lie.
Parenting Plan Sample Assessment -For Kelly and James:
Recently I was asked to assess a family where the toddler was "creating chaos", to quote the parents.
In their desperation for some semblance of order in their home, the young parents, Kelly and James, were prepared to do anything to prevent the constant disorder spiralling further out of control.
Their toddler is a bright, active nearly two year old. When I suggested that it was difficult to imagine he had created all this turmoil, even the grandparents were quick to convince me that Toby was the cause of all the household's problems!
No-one was getting any sleep, mealtimes were a thing of the past, their relationship had been "put on hold", and Toby's constant grizzling had worn his parents down. Life, according to Kelly, had become a constant grind.
After observing the morning routine of the household, my recommendations came as a surprise to Toby's parents.
Free Parenting Plan
- Slow Down!
- Stop and Listen to Each Other
- Plan a Regular Date Night
- Assess your own personal routines
- Commit to regular meal times together
- Minimise clutter
- Plan strategies for minimising personal chaos such as lost car keys, misplaced wallets, and constantly being late.
- Be Consistent in your dealings with each other
Parenting Plan Sample - Assessment and ChangesIt wasn't difficult for me to see that Toby's behaviour was modelling that of his parents; however they hadn't seen how they were creating the chaos.
Thankfully, they both love their little boy and immediately committed to regular planning sessions to confront their own lack of routine. Both admitted to arranging too many activities for each day, constantly rushing, and not taking care of their own needs or of each other.
In response to personal counselling, Toby's mother, Kelly, came to see that she had strong feelings of guilt about no longer contributing to the family income. This caused her to rush around so as to avoid confronting her feelings.
James admitted that the extra financial responsibility of a child had caused stressful feelings for him which he hadn't admitted to, or discussed with Kelly.
Simply slowing down and taking the time to truthfully assess their own feelings and habits within some counselling created more space, care and routine for themselves.
This was the beginning of many changes within their daily lives. Becoming clear, firm and consistent in their parenting approach certainly helped Toby to feel more settled and secure.
Within a few weeks, Kelly reported that Toby was responding well to a more structured and routine environment, while she and James had minimised their former chaos and clutter, and were enjoying a more peaceful and organised life together.
They arranged weekly discussion times to clear the air of any negative emotions and to remain honest with each other.
More Ideas for Parenting Plan Sample:
- Look first at existing routines, practices and schedules with your household
- Try addressing the chaos and clutter in your adult life first.
- Implementing new systems for children within the existing chaos of family life is rather like putting the cart before the horse.
- I encourage you to write your own sample parenting plan looking at ideas around routine and order.
- Children thrive and grow into independent, secure adults when surrounded by routine and security.
firm, clear and consistent routines are strongly in place.
Making the most of a parenting plan during separation and divorce.
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