This is a battle for most parents. We live busy lives. In most households, both parents work, children go to school, and everyone has their own activities that are just for them. This is how we raise our kids and help ourselves have well-rounded lives.
While this is a good way to live, it is also difficult. Schedules can collide and cause problems. Schools give children a heavy academic load and that grows with each school year. So, how can you manage this and how can you help your kids balance their school responsibilities and their sports responsibilities.
Note: sports is a responsibility. When your child signs up, he or she is part of a team. Teaching them how to work as a team and how to be reliable is something every parent must do. They will need this skill throughout their lives.
The first thing we have to accept is school for children and work for adults are priorities. This does not mean these things get to control our lives and we must sacrifice everything in their honor. But we do have to understand their position in our plans.
When my son was in the third grade, he had a tough time with math and science. He struggled with these two subjects to the point that they took over every conversation, every weekend, and every free moment we had as a family.
I soon realized that if something was not done, his school year would be impossible. We met this challenge head-on. We spoke with his teacher and had him tested to see what was different about his thinking process.
What we found was he was overwhelmed. When given the assignments in smaller bits, he could do them. But giving him everything at once caused him to overload and shutdown. We worked with a tutor and his teacher and solved that issue. Priority was handled, and then he could get into other activities.
- Keep a planner and use it
When you begin, be very detailed. You will not need to be later. Put down every activity for every family member. Create a fitness plan for your family. Include the time it takes to travel there. Get a clear picture of your life before you agree to join anything.
Keep up with when homework assignments are due. When are out of town games planned? Keep up with vacation schedules, holidays and school breaks.
- Get ahead of the game and stay there.
Weekends are not for catching up but for preparing for the coming week. Always be a step ahead.
- Teach your child to be proactive
Show them how little things that are done in advance makes their lives easier. For example, if the team is having an end of season party, decide your contribution in advance. If you are going to provide a candy buffet or grab bags of sugar-free treats, order them ahead of time and be ready. It is waiting until the last minute that causes stress and you do not have to tolerate stress.
- Do not punish your child for getting frustrated or forgetting about something like a science project or an extra practice.
Instead, take the time to use it to teach them how to be on top of things. Help them keep up with their planner by checking it with them weekly.
The overall view of your plan should be about making your life and your child’s life easier and more productive. Just don’t forget to have some fun along the way.