Rowena List - Professional Organizer, Speaker and Coach.
All over town we see moms and dads pulling their hair out trying to juggle school with kid’s activities, work and home. So how do you manage all this with much less stress? Follow these Top 5 Getting It Together Tips
Tip #1 – Kids do best with routine
Routine is important, however, if a child is not thriving on this schedule it is wise to reconsider. Possibly remove or add an activity that will produce less stress in your child’s life. Having set times for meals, bedtime and activities makes for a happy kid.
Tip #2 – Leave time for rest and play
Kids love structured activities, and a certain amount of it every day is important. Each child is different, so gauge how much they need by their behaviour. More than anything, after school and on weekends, kids need and want free time to rest and play. Ensure you allow for that too.
Tip #3 – Sit down as a family
Decide as a family which one or two activities each child wants to do per season. Two activities is most likely the maximum, although every child is different. The demands of school just keep getting greater, so keep an eye out, so that their schoolwork doesn’t suffer. Make sure you don’t overdo it too as your stress will be absorbed by your children. Sitting down to dinner together as a family has proven to be one of the ways to keep your kids off drugs. Make sure you schedule in meal times.
Tip #4 – Make a calendar
This may seem like the most obvious of tips, but you’d be surprised when a child gets to be involved in the planning how much more willing and cooperative they can be.
On the calendar, mark down all the regular activities. Ask each of your children to choose a colour marker that then will only be used for their activities. Ensure that your schedule includes which grown-up will be in charge of driving which child to which activity. Look into car pooling especially if you need to be in multiple places at one time.
Tip #5 – Family time
No matter how busy you get with activities, work, school or home improvement, the most important is family time. Schedule one activity per week with the entire family. And, if possible, one activity with each of the parents separately with each child.
On the calendar be sure to schedule in family time in a different colour. And while you are at it, make sure you put in some personal time just for you.
Keeping life simple and balanced means harmonious, happy kids.