Family Safety Plan: the difference between a good day out with kids and a really bad one?
Taking children out for a day can be a joy but it can be stressful too. The thing that makes the difference is ... Wait for it ... "Planning"! Including a Family Safety Plan.
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I know, who wants to plan a day out. A day out should spontaneous that's what makes it fun. Except when you finish the day at your wit's end or worse you have had a really bad experience.
I realize that it is not always possible to plan a day out but after 4 children and now 5 grandchildren I can tell you, the days that are remembered the most (unless remembered for the disaster) are the ones that we planned. Spontaneity is great but should be kept manageable doses.
Planning doesn't mean that you have to have to be a Sargent Major. It just means you put a little thought into it.
Quite some time ago I received an email from Irene van der Zande about how to plan a day out during the holidays (or any other time for that matter) including a family safety plan. I thought that she had some great ideas and they are worthwhile considering for your next excursion, particularly with small children but some ground rules for older ones can save a lot of grief. More importantly it safer that way too. Being covered in mud is one thing but a bad experience is always worse if you realize it could have been avoided by a little for thought.
It was also written for December but the principals apply anytime.
The thing I liked the best was that not only was there a family safety plan but there is still plenty of room to celebrate. It's is very important that you don't plan out the fun.