Your Family’s Success Prep Checklist
If you’re the head of your household, you probably learned early on, that with this title comes a ton of responsibilities, hard work, and stress. Sure, your neighbors and friends may see a fabulously maintained home. Maybe even an adorable dog being walked by its loving owners each morning. Perhaps they’re even a bit envious of how you manage to get the kids to school with fresh cupcakes for that bake sale, and get the dog to its vet appointment all before going to work for 8 hours.
Meanwhile, there are some days when you just don’t know how you’re going to make it. On top of the usual hectic schedule, maybe there’s an emergency leak, or the same dog you lovingly walk and take to the vet has now run away for greener pastures. The kids can’t find anything, and it’s all on you. What can you do? The answer may be as simple as making a family success prep checklist.
A checklist like this can be a family affair. It’s not just a list of chores, but rather it engages the entire family in team activities that foster a successful family dynamic. It helps to prevent disasters and save time. The list can also help ensure that everyone is prepared should something go wrong. It gives you experiences and activities that prepare you for success. While you can personalize your family’s success prep checklist, we’ve compiled one to help get you started.
1. Build A Good Fence To Protect Your Pets
Occasionally our furry friends like to take a little unapproved trip around the neighborhood. That’s why if you have a pet, having proper fencing should be a key part of any success prep plan. Having a sturdy fence will not only keep Fluffy and Spot safely in the yard, but it will also keep predators from getting in and harming them. This can also be a huge benefit to you, knowing they have a safe place to go when visitors or workers come to the house.
Professional fence building is a huge business, so it offers you many choices and opportunities to get estimates that fit your budget. There are a ton of options as well, from tall vinyl that offers security and privacy to wood that gives you a nice aesthetic. A good fence can also give you peace of mind when the kids go out to play.
2. Throw Out Family Clutter
One of the absolute best things you can do as a family is to throw out clutter. It’s hard to practice success prep when you’re falling over junk and can’t find anything. It’s also not good for mental health. Clutter and mess can cause negative mood changes.
When you’re making a family success prep checklist, getting rid of unwanted and unnecessary items should be at the top. If you’re unsure where to start, a general rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in 6 months, it’s time for it to go. Another good tip is to grab 3 boxes, one for keep, one for donate, and one for toss.
Make sure the kids are in on this and clean out their closets, drawers, and whatever is lurking under their beds. If there’s more stuff than you expected, don’t think twice about calling some trash services to see how much they charge. It’s money well spent to have your house cleaned out and organized.
3. Hire Professionals To Repair Your Wet Basement
If your basement takes on water, that alone can be a huge impediment to any success prep your family has planned. Wet basements can ruin items you’ve stored down there. They can prevent you from turning the space into a fabulous office or rec room. Moisture and wetness in the basement can cause some pretty nasty smells. Worst of all, they can cause mold and mildew that can make your family sick.
None of that is ever part of success prep. Though wet basement repairs can be expensive, having the work done will save you money in the long run. Imagine how much it will cost if you end up with a flood, or mold that needs to be removed while you pay to stay at a hotel. Depending on your issue, many companies are happy to work with you on a successful prep plan to get those wet basement repairs done on a budget.
4. Routinely Visit The Dentist With Your Children
If you have kids, visiting the dentist regularly needs to be on your success prep checklist until college. Nothing can ruin plans and cause misery quite like a bad tooth on a child. Other than the horror that childhood tooth decay can bring to the entire family, (sleepless nights, screaming, crying, not eating, missing school) going to the dentist is not just a matter of oral care.
Believe it or not, these trips engrain in your kids, the importance of taking care of themselves, being responsible with their health, and maintaining their appearance. It can also teach them important skills like patience, social interaction, and how to communicate effectively. If you don’t have one already, ask some neighbors for recommendations for local dentists. If that doesn’t work, hit those parent groups on social media, someone is bound to know local dentists the kids all love.
5. Enroll Your Children In Summer Camp
Summer camp is a great way to kick off the season and can allow you to dive into some of your success prep checklist items while the kids are gone. Going to a prep school summer camp is a great way for kids to prepare for success in a fun way. Sleep away camp in particular is great for kids as it teaches them independence, responsibility, social skills, and teamwork, all while having unique experiences with new people.
Prep school summer camp programs can also offer kids a peek into what year-round prep school is like. So that’s a nice option if they’re on the fence about prep school. It’s one of the best ways to help prep kids for success because they’ll be having too much fun to know it’s a learning experience.
They may even come home and continue to make their bed, do their laundry, and do other tasks they had to do while they were away. Imagine having some spare time to get things done for yourself. Speaking of, while the kids are away at camp, is a great time to check off some items from that success prep checklist. You can finally call the fence company, toss the clutter, or make some calls to local dentists to see what insurance they take.
6. Send Your Children To Good Schools
Nothing will prep your kids for success better than attending a good school. After all, a good school with good programs and teachers can make a difference in so many things. In addition to learning the basics, a good school will prepare students to take on technology, engineering, the arts, career training, and social interaction.
Sometimes parents or students may not be happy in their area public school. This is when a decision will have to be made if a private or preparatory school is a better choice. The best preparatory schools will have small class sizes, one-on-one help, tutoring, the best-educated staff, a range of class choices, cultural events, and opportunities that other schools can’t offer.
Other times people may opt for a private religious-based school. These schools also usually offer smaller small class sizes with religious teachings and certain expectations of conduct. Regardless of what type of school you choose for your child, the most important things are that they are comfortable, safe, and in an environment that will foster learning. A success prep checklist should always include regular discussions with your kids about school.
7. Purchase Career Coaching Tools For Your Children
It may seem like an odd checklist item for success prep, but career coaching tools have become an important part of most students’ lives. Career coaching software is popular with students as young as late elementary school. Programs like Power School and Naviance have been leading the way in student organizations for years.
Not only do they keep track of student records, assignments, and grades, but they also assist with their future. Good career coaching software helps students to identify their strengths and interests. This way they can choose the right classes and explore career paths.
Some programs will even help kids search for part-time jobs. The software also makes it easy to register for important tests like the SATs. If your child needs help with college or trade school applications, these programs cover that as well.
Career coaching software will also help students with study skills, setting goals, and skills for transitioning from grade to grade and beyond. While most schools offer this type of software as part of their guidance counseling services, it’s something worth looking into if they don’t.
8. Teach Your Children About Auto Safety And Responsibilities
This is a huge success prep checklist item for anyone with teenagers approaching driving age. Teaching your children about auto safety and the responsibilities of operating an automobile are some of the most important lessons they’ll ever learn. Though they should be learning from an early age by watching you drive safely, you need to reinforce everything before they ever get behind the wheel.
Telling them to wear their seatbelt is fine, but you need to tell them why as well. Kids need to know that not only can it save their lives, but that it’s a traffic violation and carries a heavy fine if they don’t. Also, it can increase insurance premiums, and nobody wants that.
During the discussion, you should also cover distracted driving (including texting, eating, applying makeup, etc.). Safe speeds and keeping a proper distance should also be discussed. Then there’s the big one about not driving under the influence. It’s essential not only to talk about alcohol but marijuana as well. With pot being legal in many states now some kids think it’s okay to drive after they’ve smoked.
During the discussion on safety, it is a good time to get into the importance of auto repair. Tell them about always having a spare tire and show them how to change it. Make sure they know not to ignore dashboard lights or strange noises, and to never drive around with the gas tank on empty.
9. Explain To Your Children How Auto Maintenance Works
Once your teen has their license, it’s time to check another box in the family success plan list. After all, for as much as they get freedom, so do you (sort of). No more driving them all over creation, and they can even run errands for you.
But being old enough to drive also means being old enough to learn about maintaining the car they’re using. Your children will need to learn the importance of regular oil changes, paying attention to tire pressure, and how to fill them. Other important maintenance issues you should cover are paying attention to warning lights, changing wiper blades and fluid, how to use jumper cables, and keeping an emergency supply kit in the trunk.
10. Know Where The Closest E.R. Is Located
No family success prep checklist would be complete without making sure where the local emergency rooms are located. Accidents can happen in an instant, so it’s vital to know where to go, and how to get there quickly. Keep the information on the fridge, as well as on your phones. Make sure all adults and driving-age children know how to get to an emergency room, or at the very least how to enter the address into the GPS.
As you can see, a family success prep checklist is much more than a bunch of chores that get passed around to everyone. It’s more of a long-term plan to help your entire family be organized, safe, and prepared for anything. These are the keys to achieving long-term success. We hope you found our list helpful. Feel free to add your own.