An “Old School” Tool For Your Family

BEHOLD! The humble wall calendar.

How much has family life has changed since today’s parents of teens were teenagers ourselves? Ummmm…TONS! One of the huge changes I’ve really been noticing lately in my own family is how many different digital calendars and virtual spaces are represented by just the three people in my house – my wife, my 17 year old son, and myself. I don’t just mean there are three of us, so there are three different calendars at play. Far from it! It seems each one of us has half a dozen different sets of schedules, obligations, appointments, etc. – each one competing for our attention and energy and time. But my point here is not that we’ve got lots going on. It’s that, for all the convenience our digital devices are supposed to bring us, it sure seems harder than ever to make sure our schedules are all synced up together in our minds and plans.

Different teachers utilize different online and digital tools and spaces in different ways. Different health care providers use different systems to manage our scheduling, communication, and such. Some things don’t work so well on the phone as they do on a laptop, which can really make life interesting when you use a smartphone for 95% of your digital world interaction. (I pretty much use my laptop for this – managing my website. Yep, that’s just about it. Wow!)

Sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. Or one or more family members gets frustrated at not being in the loop about important plans. Or life can become unnecessarily stressful when there is a sudden crunch-time or last minute change to make sure all the bases get covered. Can you relate? Oh, I’m guessing you can. Especially those of you with three or more kids over the age of…five.

And so, yesterday, I bought an old school tool at good ole Office Depot to bring home and help my family manage life better together: a big, poster sized, four-month wall calendar. It’s laminated with blank months, so you can mark it up and change it up and reuse it however you and your family need throughout the year, every year. The original intent was to provide a simple, unified visual space in the home to help all three of us keep up with our son’s various school requirements, activities, and such where no one has to log in to access it. It’s just there. On the wall. Easy. But that thing hadn’t been up on the dining room wall thirty minutes before I realized we needed it for more than The Lad’s school calendar. Dentist appointments, doctor appointments, guitar lessons, family trips, important dating events, special dinner plans…the list could go on and on. WE NEED THIS CALENDAR IN OUR LIFE! IN OUR HOME. ON A WALL IN PLAIN VIEW.

I’ll post an update at some point, letting you know the impact of this wall-mounted wonder on our family functioning. For now, I just thought it might be a helpful tip to pass along to those families struggling to get all their stuff together on the same page in a way that keeps the whole family in the loop. I’m sure there’s a great app for that. But I don’t think we need any more apps right now. I’m putting my money on old school tech to come through for this crazy family of three! Blessings of peace and sanity to you and yours.

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