Homework, school projects, band, chorus, in-house soccer, travel lacrosse, dance, scouts, religion, doctor visits—being a school-age kid can be exhausting! And being their parent even more so—especially if you have more than one and manage all of your kids’ activities. Families are so busy sometimes that they never really take the time to stop and smell the roses. And who can blame them?
It’s every parent’s dilemma: trying to get kids from one event to another after school and during the weekend, while still getting their homework done and helping them study for tests.
Not to mention doing all that parents have to do for themselves—going to work, staying late for meetings, dealing with an awful commute, coaching, etc. Sometimes—most times—there’s just not enough time in the day to get it all done. So, to make things a little bit easier, we’ve outlined a few tips that can help you and your family. You’ll be able to navigate through the overwhelming amount of events filling your family’s days.
Tips For Juggling Your Family’s Activities
Don’t Overdo It
Parents today feel like they have to have their kids involved in everything, but that’s just not a good idea. Yes, you want to keep them involved and busy. But enrolling them in three activities each season (which require a minimum of 1-3 hours invested each week) can cause burnout and, ultimately, failure. One sport per season and one arts is plenty for the average child. And while parents of a young or only child think they and their kid can handle more—beware! Schoolwork and commitment to each activity gets more intense. And if you have a second child or more, you’ll need to account for all of your kids’ activities accordingly.
Keep A Calendar
Don’t just keep a calendar; go over it the night before and each morning. Make sure everyone knows what they’re doing and that they’re ready for each thing. A well-oiled machine operates smoothly and continuously. And don’t just use your Google Calendar or Alexa-based one. Get a real printed one and mark everything on it so that each member of your family can see it—like way back in the old days (i.e., 5 years ago).
Schoolwork comes first. So, if your child has a pile of homework or a major test they need to study for, then they’ll just have to miss their soccer practice or band lesson that day. Make sure your child understands that. It will help him or her plan their weeks and days better to avoid it from happening again.
In addition to having a calendar, having every one of your kids’ gear set up or in bags and ready to go will help you all stay on track. Make sure everything is clean, primed, and packed the night before and keep it all in a set place (by the front door, in the trunk of the car, in the mudroom, etc.).
No parent can be there—or everywhere—for their child every single time. If you don’t have access to another family member who can assist you with your kids’ activities, try and find another parent who can trade off. One thing many parents do is start a carpool. One parent will handle the Tuesday Scouts meeting or Thursday night practice, if another parent can do the Saturday morning dance rehearsal or Sunday afternoon game.
Hopefully, you’ll find these tips to be incredibly helpful. They may seem simple, but they do take work. Kind of like raising a family.
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