Time Management and Over-Scheduling
“I don’t have TIME for that!”
How many times have you said, or at least thought this? Time Management is important. It’s no secret that we all have the same time - twenty-four hours, every single day. So why do some people seem to use this time better than others?
How Are Your Kids Doing?
We people are all over the place when it comes to time management. Some of us are scheduled from dawn til dusk, while at the other end of the spectrum, plenty of us waste hours scrolling on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. So where do your kids land on this continuum?
Kids are managed by their parents. Are your children signed up for two sports and two after-school clubs? Just one activity per week? One trait shared by all parents I’ve met is that they want their kids to be successful. So how do we send them towards success while maintaining balance in our families?
Time Management Tips
In my program, Seven Skills for Student Success, I focus on helping students with executive functioning skills, including Time Management. So I was planning to write this post all about that module. Yes, there are lots of tricks to time management.
Here are a few:
Every family should have a centrally-located physical calendar to consult daily.
Weekly family meetings must include conversation about the week’s activities.
Productivity apps for kids can be very helpful.
The Danger in Over-scheduling
As I write this, though, I’m less concerned with communicating strategies and tips than I am addressing the increasing over-scheduling of our kids. I know many folks who found Covid to be just the respite they needed for their family - that’s crazy! Why did we need a pandemic to help us to slow down?
As a classroom teacher, I see so many students who are exhausted in school. This is, to say the least, not ideal for learning. Optimally, school age children need at least ten hours of sleep. For most, that means going to bed by 9:00 if they wake up at 7:00AM. If your kids get moving before 7 AM, they should be lights out by 8:00 PM.
As our kids grow, parents want them to get out there and try things. Baseball, softball, dance, and taekwondo...there are tons of choices. Even if your child wants to be involved in everything, though, it’s important to set limits. Obviously this is a personal decision, and you must do what works for your family.
In my own experience, though, I don’t want to:
Live my life in the car
Feed my child fast food three nights per week
Always be running somewhere
I DO want to:
Eat dinner at the table as a family several nights per week
Give my child unstructured, screen-free time to play outside and be creative
Relax after a long day of work
Do you have multiple children? That’s also something to consider, as three kids equals three nights of running, or dividing and conquering and never seeing your spouse.
Life is about moderation and balance. Kids have a lot of stress already, just living:
Yes, it’s important to give our children opportunities and experiences. But let’s strive for balance. That’s my two cents.