How to help kids prioritise their activities in the new school year
The break is over, time to get back into the daily routine with your kids. This includes joggling school, various sports and creative activities and family life. Fun, isn’t it? Well, we hope you are ready, because before all that starts you are going to have to have sit-down with your kids and make a clear plan of what they want to do this school years so as to avoid getting overwhelmed later on. Here are some great tips on how we, as parents, can help them navigate through the numerous obligations that await them.
Want to VS have to
As you already know, some obligations your children have are not optional. School work, homework and preparation for exams. However there are those that can be great if found on their college applications like sports, drama or math club. So they definitely need some of those in order to have a better chance of getting into the school of their dreams. Now, you also have the ones they love and want to do like painting or dancing. Of course, it would be perfect if your teen could do all of them but it is not realistic. So deciding on which ones are staying and which ones they need to let go is up to them, and it is your job to help them make the reasonable choices.
Make a schedule together
This is essential for helping your teen prioritise. When you finally have all the activities on paper, with clear timing and duration, it is much easier to recognise what is plausible and what isn’t. Now, of course, first you need to include the school hours plus the time they need for studying. This includes writing papers, getting quality SACE notes and joining a study group. Next, come the extracurricular activities. It is important to have a clear idea of how much time these will take each day, or even per week. Seeing that you need around 2 to 3 hours a day to do some of the activities can be quite sobering for your child. They will realise what is realistic and what isn’t, and slowly the more comprehensive schedule will appear.
Don’t be too discouraging
If your teenager is very driven regarding some of the activities that might take up a bit more time than you think they should, don’t be discouraging about it. Instead discuss it with them and make a deal. If they can maintain a good GPA and manage all the school obligation, they get to do the activities they want. This is a great tactics because if they really want to do sports or join any type of club they are bound to make that extra effort in order to succeed at both. But it is important to monitor their progress and call them out if they start slipping, just as it is important to have a sit-down in case you notice that they are getting symply too exhausted and are not handling that level of stress well.
These are just some of the ways you can help your teen manage all the obligations that come their way as soon as the school years starts. The most important thing being your ability to communicate with them, provide them guidance, support and simply letting them know that they don’t need to do every single thing on their list. When they learn about prioritizing and how that can help them achieve their goals they will be able to use it later on in life and work. So this is the ideal teachable moment that parents should jump on.