4 Time Management Tips for Busy ParentsJanuary 30, 2014
By Amelia Orozco
There are times when you may feel like your son or daughter’s personal assistant. You make sure they eat, have the right outfit, and that they arrive on time to all their appointments. Your minivan is more like a limo service shuttling the crew back and forth between activities.
Even though extracurricular activities such as dance, music, and sports are an important part of your child’s experience, they can become a headache if not managed efficiently. Regardless of whether you’re a single, working, or at-home parent, time management is key for your son or daughter’s success in school. Consider these four tips to help manage your family’s time:
- Calendars. Have your children help keep a calendar of the week’s events on the refrigerator door or another place in your home where every member of the family is sure to see it.
Since I am a working mom, it is sometimes difficult to attend all of my daughters’ events, especially when they are scheduled during the normal course of a business day. Fortunately, at the beginning of each school year, and even every month, their teachers distribute a calendar of activities. With these, I am able to map my days out and plan ahead with my employer and colleagues. That way, no one schedules a work meeting when my time is blocked off beforehand for personal time with my children.
- School comes first. There is only so much your son or daughter can do outside of school while still keeping up with their rigorous academic schedule, which can include special projects or assignments and exams. It’s important to remember that although these extra activities are important, if they interfere with his or her performance at school, homework always takes precedence.
- Share the load. Schedule time at your local public library to study for a change of pace, or get together with other parents to form a homework group, taking turns at each of your homes. This will give you the occasional break as you juggle busy work and school schedules.
- Relax. Although it is important to make sure your children are involved in interesting activities, they also need time to play, relax, and just be silly. This is essential for maintaining a healthy outlook on life as they tackle all the responsibilities they are held accountable for. Try planning an impromptu picnic at a local park or even on your living room floor. Taking a walk around the neighborhood to observe nature is also a refreshing way to recharge and reenergize.
In time, you will find the perfect balance of activity, rest, and play that is most beneficial for your children and yourself.
Amelia Orozco is the senior editor and writer at the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo and a community and entertainment reporter for TeleGuía Chicago. A mother of three, Amelia also maintains an active role in her community and church by working with youth and promoting education and diversity through her writing and volunteer efforts.