Now that the world is getting back to being somewhat normal, how can I best look ahead in life and confidently make plans for my future? The past year has been so unpredictable and rocky; should I even make any plans?
– A Planner at Heart
Dear A Planner at Heart,
I love planners! Planning helps many people feel they are in control of their lives. Planning can help us feel stable, offering us the feeling we can move forward and be successful due to our well-laid-out plans. That said, planning should also include adaptability. As we have all learned in the past year, we can make plans for our lives, and they can change and then change again. So, make your plans for the upcoming year but be flexible; know that every day, even before a worldwide pandemic, we did not have as much control of every moment as we previously thought, and that’s OK, we can still have a lovely life. Plan, but be adaptable to have a big life.
I am enjoying the freedom of summer, but I am beginning to feel stressed about getting my kids back on a schedule for the upcoming school year. How can I get my family to smoothly return to our past system of helping around the house and a bedtime routine?
– Momma Needs a Plan
Dear Momma Needs a Plan,
First, I would sit down and map out an updated schedule and the needs of your household system overall. Invite everyone in your family to a family meeting and share with them the revised schedule and chores to complete each day/week. Finalize who does what and when, then post the schedule in the kitchen and provide each family member with a copy, making sure you include a start date. Model for your family that the schedule is a guide to help your family be a successful family system overall: you support each other with chore help, everyone gets good sleep, you have a clean house, and you are all successful at school and work. Good luck and remember you can update this review process and plan each year to adapt to your growing, changing family.
Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and the owner of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group.
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