Monday, October 16, 2017

A Happy Family of Planners Who Plan for Family Happiness (Say That Five Times Fast)

Mormon Mom Planner: Planning As A Family

by Danielle' Dimond

Have you ever tried to rescue a young boy from his older sister’s verbal rage when she is late to school because he can’t find his jacket? I’ve been there. The scars are still fresh and even months later, that young boy’s eye still twitches nervously whenever I jingle the car keys.  

This school year our family has had a little routine adjusting to do, as our daughter started seminary and we need to leave for school 10 minutes earlier than usual every other day. Mornings are hard as it is around here since I’ve passed on my genetic a.m. disposition to my spawn. It’s a disposition of general disdain for all mankind until 8:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Sorry about that kids! Better make a note of that on my family history page for future generations to beware.
If we don’t remind everyone the night before that we’ll be leaving early, we are all certain to be late, dangerous and well, less than spiritually awesome.

We’ve since begun a preventive measures program we like to call, The Family Who Plans Together Doesn’t Try to Kill Each Other for Tardiness…mostly.

cute family gathered around the table planning out their week Mormon Mom Planner

This proactive peace effort takes place on Sunday evenings during Family Counsel. Everyone who has one brings their calendar/planner/coloring page to the table and we plug in all the soccer practices/games, basketball practices/games, Young Women’s activities, Scout activities, and meetings for callings, social plans and school events. If we are over scheduled on any given day we talk it out together and decide how we’ll make it work, or what we’ll need to cut to make things run smoothly and keep everyone chill. I write everything in my calendar, which generally remains open in the kitchen so everyone can be in that smug state known simply as “the know”.

Guess what I’ve discovered? This simple practice of planning as a family has approximately 147 benefits! However, for the sake of time (so you don’t make yourself late for something due to reading this enchanting piece of literature) I’m only going to share 5 reasons why planning as a family will help you and yours!

  1. The Most Beautiful View is an Overview

A first step to working on any team is for all team members to understand the overlying plan. You have to know what each player is going to be doing in order to anticipate what you yourself will need to do. If Jr. knows that big sister needs to get to school early in the morning, he knows he can’t lay around in bed for five more minutes, or luxuriate over which already dirty school uniform to wear. He knows that the team goal is to get out the door in time, so his role is to get his cute patootie moving so that the team wins all the things!

  1. Involved and Invested in Every Activity…even if it’s not theirs

When you include everyone in the family on the planning and figuring of events and activities, you’re involving everyone in every event. Planning together how you’re going to get one kid to a piano lesson right after school is going to help the other kids respect the plan and feel like the plan is theirs too, not just piano going Jimmy. Hustling those metaphorical bustles home after the bus drops them off will be their part of executing plan ‘Jimmy gets his music on’. They can then feel the same satisfaction you do when Jimmy gets to his lesson on time because they helped make the plan to do it!

  1. Prioritizing Prioritization

Inevitably, your family schedule is going to have some hiccups, especially if you have a lot of kids and/or a lot of activities going on. Hiccups are ok; in fact, they can be great tools for teaching! When everyone sees the problem laid (i.e. a soccer practice and a soccer game scheduled at the same time), you get to teach about prioritization. Soccer practice kid learns that a game is more important and he’ll have to miss this practice so his sister and family can make it to her game.   

  1. Problem Solving + Time Management = Super Powers!!!

This act of teaching prioritization also helps kids learn about problem solving and time management. Problem solving comes in if there’s a school play going on at the same time as the violin recital and Mom and Dad are going to be out of town. Everyone need not freak out and burst into “it’s not fair” tears. We all just put our heads together and figure out how everyone can get a ride from a friend or neighbor to their events.
You can teach time management skills when there’s a busy afternoon planned on Thursday and a big report due for Henrietta on Friday. You can all plan out together when she can work on her report earlier in the week so it’s all done before that busy Thursday afternoon.

  1. Everyone Has a Voice

One of the biggest perks to planning as a family is that everyone gets to feel like they have a say in what is going on and that their voice is heard in the planning stages. As a result, it’s easier for them to accept and respect everyone else’s voice too. This isn’t to say that you won’t have to play the parent card sometimes and make the hard decision yourself when no one can agree, but it may lessen the blow a bit if everyone can see the big picture in front of them.

cute October planner filled out with Halloween stickers, witch and bat drawings Mormon Mom Planner

Planning together will unite and bless your family!

Think about it, our wise Heavenly Father was a planner. Before we even decided we’d participate in this hectic thing called life on earth, He laid out a plan of salvation for us during the very first family counsel ever! He asked for solutions and whether or not we wanted to participate. Our voices were heard (for better or worse) and those of us who chose to come knew the plan beforehand and we loved it. We felt that we were a part of it, for all eternity. God shows us how to do all things, even things as simple as how to plan a week/month or even a year together with our families. Our hope can only be that by following this example we can truly have our own Family Plan of Happiness.

Family gathered around the table planning out their week Mormon Mom Planner


  1. Great Post! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป

  2. Very inspiring and true. My husband and I are on a mission and have seen how weekly planning can transform our life, make us both invested and accountable, problem solve and the cooperative effort includes the Spirit, who makes it work. It has taken the indecision and stress away, giving us purpose and joy. Great eternal principle, family planning. Even for those without kids at home.

    1. I totally agree! What a wonderful testimony of the unexpected things we can learn while serving a mission. I can't wait to serve someday with my hubby, but we have to turn our four kiddos into contributing adults first. ;)

  3. I think that this is an awesome idea. What kind of planners do you use for your kids? Ever thought about a really simplified planner for kids that we can buy? That would be great!