I have kids who thrive on a schedule. Well, what kid doesn't? Can you imagine the powerlessness that children sometimes feel? They have no way of leaving the house on their own, no real money of their own...they have very little control of their lives when they're so young. One way we can give them some control is to give them a schedule of daily events and stick to it. Although our daily schedule goes through periodic changes, it's never an all-or-nothing thing. If we need it, I make the changes slowly - one thing at a time.
One of the biggest aspects of following a schedule is flexibility. Things come up! When something interupts our schedule, it's real hard on my kids because they don't want to veer off course. I have to constantly encourage them that we'll get back on track ASAP! I talk to them about being flexible and most importantly, being open to what God brings to our days. One of our most oft repeated verses is Proverbs 16:9:
"A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps."
One of the biggest challenges we encounter is each other. One needs help, the other is looking for a playmate, Mom or Dad needs a chore to be tackled...how we react and respond to each interuption to our own carefully constructed plan is so important. Our culture is so geared towards personal gratification and me-time. Throw that in with a natural tendency towards self-will and selfishness and you've got something that's hard to get over. It's a daily struggle in our home. Darin and I have committed ourselves to be like "water over a rock" as we remind and encourage the kids to give up their own wants for those of the loved ones around them. And then we get down on our knees and pray for the same determination to do this for them as well.