​As a parent, there are going to be many times that you have a plan in place, and it bombs!

When plans bomb we will often think it is something we are doing wrong. The fact is that not all plans will work out and not all ways of dealing with a behaviour respond in the same manner.

A great example of plans not working out would be…

(Any idea of where I am going as a Sleep Consultant!)

You guessed it… SLEEP PLANS!!

There have been many times that I have been working with families where we go over the sleep plan and it seems like a great fit. Then when the parents start to implement the plan it does not seem to be working.

We can rip things to pieces and figure out what is wrong with the child or we can adjust the plan to meet the needs of the child and the family. I have way more success with changing plans than changing a child.

So the first plan gets trashed and we make a new plan!

Another great example of a plan that did not go well is when my husband and I are not on the same plan. I wake up thinking I need to accomplish certain things and he wakes up with a completely different idea.

The best way to deal with these issues is to carve out a few minutes and make a plan that suits everyone. When we do this we also include the kids. If they have their own ideas it makes accomplishing things very difficult; however, when they are included in the decision-making process life goes much smoother!

One way to include all family members in your plans is to hold a family meeting.  During the meeting, you can brainstorm and come up with an action plan.


What is the point of a plan?

Having a plan can help you stay on track and keep your goals in mind. It can also help you to anticipate potential issues and be prepared for them.

An action plan can provide structure and guidance for you and your children, and help ensure that everyone is on the same page. It can also help you stay organized and focused on the important tasks at hand.

Ultimately, having an action plan can help make parenting easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.


Do you always need an action plan? 

The short answer is no, you do not also need a plan. There are going to be many times that you are going to have to go with the flow.


What are the benefits of having an action plan for parenting?

1.  Helps you stay organized

When you have a plan, you can see everything that needs to be done at a glance. This can help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget anything important.

2. Helps you stay focused

It’s easy to get distracted as a parent, but an action plan can help you stay focused on your goals. By breaking down your goals into smaller, actionable steps, you can work towards them one at a time and make progress.

3. Helps you see progress

When you have a plan, you can track your progress and see how far you’ve come. This can be a great motivator and help you stay committed to your goals.


What are the steps involved in creating a plan?

1. Identify the issue or objective that you want to address

Some common issues or objectives are as follows: to stop yelling, reduce the intensity of a child’s meltdowns/tantrums, increase healthy food choices, decrease screen time, find activities that interest a child, and so much more.

2. Determine the resources needed to achieve the goal

This is where you brainstorm all the things that will help you to reach your goal.

3. Break down the goal into small achievable steps

If your goal is to reduce the length of your child’s meltdowns, your steps may be:

  • identify the root of most meltdowns (ie frustration, anger, hunger, tired, not getting what they want)
  • brainstorm ways to help your child handle big emotions
  • create a calming space in your home
  • create a calm-down box (fidget toys and other calming things for your child)
  • identify and utilize a self calming strategy for you to use in the moment of the meltdown
  • create a list of empowering and calming statements you can use during the meltdown (“it is okay to be angry”, “I will not let you hurt me or you”, “I am here”…)

4. Stick to the plan

Consistently doing what you planned for a set period of time will increase your chance of success. I will often ask families to stick with a sleep plan for minimum of 4 days before making changes.

5. Review and Assess

After your set period of time, review if the plan is working. If the plan is working then carry on. If the plan is not working this is a great time to make adjustments to the plan.


Over time, you will find that developing an action plan gets easier and easier as you will have found the responses that work best for you and your child.

If you require any assistance with developing an action plan, please feel free to reach out to learn how you can work with me, Brenda from Parenting Foundations.

Remember you may have had the best of intentions but sometimes the best plans get derailed!