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Managing your child's busy schedule

By Nicole Chia 2019-05-23 15:39:17

These days kids are just as busy as adults with mountains of homework, clubs, music lessons, sports teams, playdates and social commitments. And as kids get older, their schedules can become even more hectic. In times like these it's not unreasonable to wonder if it would be worth it to hire a personal assistant to manage your kids' schedules. But, if you think you can tackle the calendar on your own, we're here to help! Here are some ways to help you survive managing your kids' full calendars.

It's time to get organized! Source a big whiteboard and start writing down all the tasks that your kids have going for the week. School dance? Write it on there! Spelling test on Friday? Make sure your child has practice days scheduled in advance! Swim meet? Perfect time to practice your art skills and draw some fun waves on that calendar day. Keep up this routine as long as you can - probably about six days - before you realize that you've mixed up months on the calendar, missed crossing off four days in a row, and your youngest has erased most of the schedule and replaced tasks with drawings of poop emojis. You tried.

Re-evaluate exactly what your kids are doing. Does 5-year-old Tommy NEED to be in dance lessons, swim lessons, cello practice, advanced math tutoring, roller-blading social club and the Model UN? Probably not. Cutting down on some of the activities lets your kiddo focus on and perfect one or two things rather than getting spread thin over too many things. Also, if your 5-year-old is doing everything now, what are you leaving him to do for all the other years to come? Parenting is all about playing the long game! The last thing you want is a 7-year-old that is all “UUUGH Mom, tap lessons AGAIN!?”

When in doubt, pass the buck! If you have a driver, make sure they know exactly when and where your kid's football practice is and let him manage it. Get the Ayi to take the littlest to her music and dance class and teach your eldest to walk to his Mandarin tutor. And when you get a call saying your child wasn't picked up from the football field, that your daughter has been screaming through the last hour of toddler singing, and that your eldest hasn't shown up for Mandarin and instead has run off to the mall with his friends, you'll realize that maybe delegating wasn't the best course of action after all.

At the end of the day, every parent needs to be able to manage both their own busy lives and their kids' schedules without making everyone crazy. Whether that means cutting back on extra-curriculars in lieu of a quiet night in, or moving things around so that activities aren't overlapping every day, the key is to never let all the extra things your kids are doing take over so much that everyone ends up stressed out. Besides, your two-year-old really won't know the difference between taking her to dance class and just throwing a tutu on her and playing the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman in the living room. And instead of paying to see her roll around on the dance class floor you can enjoy her rolling around on your carpet from the comfort of your couch.

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