Everyone loves summer, but let’s face it: this season throws a wrench into everyone’s schedule. Most parents are still working the typical 9-5 but the kids aren’t in school anymore and have a different set of activities. Most of us have cell phones this day and age, but how do you keep track of everyone’s schedules and the demands of summer? IKO Community Management has a list of suggestions that might help you and your family communicate effectively throughout the summer. Below you’ll find IKO’s Guide to Summer Communication:
Post Your Schedule: Post your schedule in a central location. A good idea for its placement is the mudroom or on a cupboard door in the kitchen. Color code this schedule, and update it as needed. If your family’s schedule tends to change frequently, consider a whiteboard or online option, such as Google Calendar. Get into the habit of checking this schedule every morning before you leave the house. This will be the basecamp for getting used to the new obligations that summer brings. This will add another level of responsibility for your family, so we encourage you to spend some time talking about how this will help everyone if used correctly.
Double Up: If something in your schedule changes, make sure that at least two other members of your family are aware of the change. This way, if you aren’t able to get in touch with everyone, the two members of your family who you did get in contact with can act as a sort of “phone chain” to make sure that everyone is aware of the change.
Jot this Down: Collect all of your important phone numbers into one place where the entire family can find it. Remember when you were a child and your parents left numbers for the babysitter’s reference of the refrigerator? This still works perfectly. Write down the family phone numbers, camp contact numbers, coach contacts, and everything else that someone could potentially need. Not only is this convenient but it’s an added precaution in cause of emergency or loss of a phone. It’s better to be prepared than caught unaware and without means of communicating.
Suit Up: This varies from parent to parent, and if you’re absolutely against your children carrying technology around with them, please disregard this section. Even if you don’t want your children to have a smart phone, there are apps that can allow your children to use wifi to text or otherwise get in contact with you. All they need is an iTouch or a tablet with wifi capabilities. This way you won’t have the added cost and responsibility of your young children having smart phones, but you’ll be able to get in touch with them. Granted, this will only work if your children will have access to wifi where they’re spending the summer, so make sure that you have an on site contact if wifi will not be available.
Group Message: Group messages have a bad reputation for being intrusive and annoying, but they can be really useful when it comes to keeping in touch during the summer months. Set some group rules such as no monkey business in the message, just to keep everything readable and helpful. Add everyone in your family to the group text message and send updates as they come up.
We hope that your family has a wonderful summer and is able to stay organized and connected! From all of us at IKO Community Management, have a great summer!