This post might have been called “Time Management for Parents,” but to many parents of primary-school children, that phrase is a contradiction in terms. Just when you think you’ve finally achieved some semblance of balance between work, parenting, and personal time, someone scrapes a knee or needs help with a last-minute homework assignment—and there go your plans for the next hour.
There are no guaranteed ways to eliminate that scenario completely, but with a little proactive thinking, it’s not that hard to free time for your personal goals.
Eliminate Perfectionism From Your Mindset
A perfectionistic parent is an unhappy parent with an unhappy household. You don’t always have to finish “everything” else—and get it all 100 percent spotless/polished/wrinkle-free—before taking time for a hobby, hot bath, or evening class. In fact, you’ll be more effective and easier to live with when your life has frequent “want to do’s” balancing out the “have to do’s.”
Let Children Help You and Themselves
Close kin to perfectionism is micromanaging. If you don’t trust anyone else to set the table “right” or get their own snack, you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself overworked and constantly interrupted with trivial questions. Reduce those frustrations by:
Be Clear on Your Personal Goals
If you aren’t clear on what you really want to do, you’ll never feel you’ve done enough. Never mind that you had more time to pursue your dreams pre-parenting: even one segmented hour a week is significant when used well. Make regular appointments with yourself to work on your goals while the kids are in school, in bed, or otherwise occupied.
Plan and Organize
While life can never be made 100 percent predictable, being in a rut usually does indicate disorganized, “reactive” habits. Use the following hints to maximize effectiveness and minimize inconvenience.
Note to Teachers
When you have a student who never seems to finish assignments on time, understand that there may be reasons besides “laziness” or “learning disability”: perhaps a stressful home life, or simply under-practiced time management skills. Incorporate practical lessons on organizing and prioritizing into class curricula—and make a point of keeping your observation and empathy skills well-honed.
SHADY OAK DOES RIGHT BY OUR STUDENTS
At Shady Oak Primary, teaching doesn’t stop with academic skills. Our 6 Pillars approach also educates children in collaboration, committed problem-solving, communication, connection, creativity, and critical thinking—all the skills they need for lifelong, all-around effectiveness. Contact us to learn more or to ask about enrolling your own child.
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!