Managing Homework Deadlines and Outside Schedules is a Huge Responsibility
Middle and high school come with so many deadlines and responsibilities. It can feel like a lot for a teen or tween to handle, but this is also what real life is like, so developing those life skills are key while their family is still a safety net for trial and error.
Here are 4 tips for managing homework and scheduling independently while balancing between fun life and school life:
The right tools for the job
Does your teen find a digital or paper method easier for organization?
Whether a calendar on their smart phone to track deadlines or a well-laid out planner is better will depend a lot on your teen’s personal preferences and how they process information best.
A good family calendar can help keep everyone in the loop on academic and social commitments.
Setting a routine of discussing upcoming events can be helpful to reinforce what the important things are on the horizon, and can be helpful for kids who have an auditory learning style.
Learning to set priorities
One of the keys to achieving balance is cutting through all the noise.
There are so many opportunities and obligations. When trying to balance it all, it is important to have conversations about why things need to be done, if they need to be done, when they need to be done, and what is most important.
Taking stock of the inventory of demands on time can lead to great conversations about personal values, work ethics and planning goals short and long-term.
While succeeding academically, and maintaining extracurriculars to support a strong college application are important, your kids are only teens and tweens once. Leaving room for the magic of adolescence is important too.
A little white space in the calendar gives the margins needed to enjoy every day experiences. There is no prize worth having for living the most overscheduled, complicated adolescence, and if there is, there is no way to enjoy it completely burnt out and exhausted.
Find time for those little moments to enjoy the fleeting days of their youth.
Setting an Example
One of the most powerful ways we can support balance in our kids is to do our best to model it ourselves.
While achieving work life balance is challenging, being intentional about trying to manage competing demands can give insights to your kids. Help them understand what your thought process is when weighing things and making decisions about how you are going to invest your time.
We can talk about balance until we are blue in the face, but showing is often more effective than telling. That means taking time for fun ourselves, putting the phone down to enjoy the moment as well as showing, even around the house, that hard work is sometimes needed and healthy, even if we would rather be doing other things.
There are so many exciting things about raising a teen or tween and no shortages on demands for their time (and yours.) With the right tools, used in the right way, a solid grip on priorities, a healthy dose of perspective and a healthy example for your kids to follow, the time management challenges of balance can be overcome by a family working as a team.