Managing After-School Activities

I cannot believe summer is almost over.  Where does the time go?  Soon many families will be dealing with the morning chaos of getting kids off to school.  But the craziness does not end there.  Instead the stress may be greater during the time when school gets out until the final activity of the day ends and everyone is home.  Without preparation, kids and parents can be on a quick path to burn out.

Although it is good to keep kids busy after school, participating in many activities without advance planning can lead to forgotten homework, miscommunication and cranky families.  Surviving is all about planning and time management – and it is a great opportunity to teach kids some valuable skills.

Below are some helpful tips:

  1. Hold a family meeting once a week.  Figure out how each kid will get to and from each activity. Make your meeting fun!
  2. Plan family meals.  Try to set at least one night when the entire family can eat together.
  3. Maintain a family calendar.
  4. Get your kids in the habit of packing activity bags the night before.
  5. Be flexible. Even the most careful planning can be derailed by a sick child, work priorities, etc.  Be ready to go with the flow.
  6. Empower your kids.  Give them control over their own planning and scheduling.  As kids learn how to plan they may feel less stressed and more confident.

After school activities are fun and a rewarding part of childhood.  It’s also a great opportunity to teach your children the skills they need to manage their time.  You cannot create more time, but you can take what you have and make the best use of it.

For more ideas check out the following websites: http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/10859-15-tips-for-managing-the-after-school-activities-juggle and https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-tips-managing-after-school-activities-shubha-janardhan.

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