Balance School and Life: Tools for Parents
As parents, we do not often think of our children as having jobs, but they really do. The Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines a “job” as “a specific, duty, role, or function” (2017). In school and in other facets of their young lives we want our children to learn to be successful. As I have spent nearly 25 years of my life teaching and counseling children, teens, young adults and their families I have found that success in life does not often come without a plan and hard work.
The following are some specifics that will lead to success for both you and your children…
- Keep an updated schedule
It is important to know what you need to get done, so that you can monitor if it is getting done and when. Sometimes, the balance between school and life is lacking because you do not have a clear picture of what you should be doing. Pencil in your tasks in your agenda early on. This is the time to download your calendar app if you haven’t already. Of course, it is important to know which tasks belong in your calendar and which ones aren’t important enough to warrant a mention.
- Don’t procrastinate
Procrastinating is fun when you are doing it-until you actually have to do the task you kept pushing to the last minute. However, tempting it is to hold off until the last minute, it is best to do your tasks when they need to be done so that you can avoid the stress that comes with the eleventh hour.
- Get enough sleep
Being well rested is a key ingredient in performing your tasks well. A good night’s sleep can never be overrated. Sometimes you might not sleep well, but always ensuring that getting enough sleep every night is a priority in your life.
- Prioritize your work
So you have all these tasks that you need to do, but do you really have to do them today? It is important to prioritize your tasks in such a way that you have freedom to leave out certain tasks in your day. Pick three tasks that you need to complete every day. These tasks could be home or school related. After completing this, you are free to spend the rest of your time as you wish.
- Avoid distractions
When you have a busy schedule that involves balancing school and home-life, you have to be careful not to get too distracted in your day to day life. Distractions interfere with the completion of your tasks, which means time allotted for certain tasks gets taken up by others. The end result is that you will end up with some undone tasks which will creep into the next day and the cycle will continue endlessly.
- Learn to say no
It is called school-life balance but it is not actually a perfect balance. Like the saying goes, you can have it all but not all at once. At some point, something will have to take the back bench. Just because you get eight hours of sleep doesn’t mean everything else will require an exact eight hours. This means that sometimes you will have to say no to social events when your friends ask. Maybe when you are done with school, you can recover the lost time by going to as many birthday parties and sporting events as you can.
Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Certified
Developmental and Behavioral Specialist
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