List the Little Things to Look Forward To

What so many families now need is structure mixed with some flexibility, plus a little joy sprinkled on top. This is what prompted one member of the Offspring Facebook group to put together a little family schedule with little things to look forward to. And this is something that we can all easily reproduce.

Laura explains to the group :

I wanted my kids and me to have something to look forward to every day, so I put a list of the days of the week in the refrigerator and one fun thing every day. (For example, tacos on Tuesday, Thursday to go, dance party on Friday, movies and popcorn on Sunday.) I never manage to stick to these things, but since they are related to entertainment / food, we have already 3 weeks and we are gaining momentum. It differentiates slightly between days and is a tiny piece of structure. Gives me some bones to plan groceries / dinners. I can see that it will develop if we get tired of something, but now it cheers me up a little.

Making small pleasures associated with food is a good idea if you want to make sure you stick with it. Creating a schedule that has a Mexican night, an Italian night, or a breakfast for dinner night is the added benefit of not only helping your meal plan, but actually helping you stick to it. (My favorite activity is making a meal plan and then deciding what is best to improvise every night for a week, which is not necessarily the strategy I would recommend.)

But your family’s mini-joys routine can be anything you want. You can plan a family play night, a walk in the park, or a seasonal craft. The trick is to choose the things that you probably would have done so and, or simple enough to not make you groan at the end of a long working and school day. It’s not about adding to your plate, but about highlighting a few highlights this coming week so you all have something to look forward to.

And if one night you decide to change days or completely abandon the whole plan and get ice cream for dinner , I also support that.

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