In these competitive times, it’s hard to strike a perfect school-home life balance. But, with these tips you can help your child easily manage his academics and extra-curricular activities.
By Hannah S Mathew
Nowadays, children have a lot on their plates in a day. School work, after-school activities, sports-training, tuition, coaching-classes and other activities ensure that their days are packed. To add to it, is the pressure to become all-rounders who excel at studies as well as at extra-curricular activities. This can lead to a child feeling extremely stressed.
As a parent, you are the one who knows your child best and understands her capabilities and limitations. Here are some top strategies to help her juggle academics and extra-curricular activities without feeling overwhelmed:
1. Start early
Don’t wait for your child to become a teenager to get him on a schedule. Start as early as possible. Right from the time he is a toddler, set a routine for him with proper mealtimes and a sleep schedule. As he grows older, add to the list of activities he has in a day. The gradual increase will ensure he doesn’t feel overwhelmed when he has a lot to do in a day.
2. Begin with books
School requires your child to be alert and focussed. Make early morning studying a practice. Help her learn to intersperse her study time with some fun activities but make sure she understands that academics are of prime importance.
3. Plan the schedule well
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This is a popular adage, often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Make a list of all the activities your child has to do in a day. Next, make a note of activities that have a fixed schedule like dinner time. Move the flexible activities through the day to accommodate the ones with a set time.
4. Ensure proper intake
Your child needs proper nutrition to grow. To make sure she is alert and healthy, you must see that she has a well-balanced diet at regular intervals. Plan healthy snacks and make her drink enough water. This will help her be a better performer.
5. Keep reminders
Whether it’s your smartphone, your laptop, or a simple post-it note - all of them can be used as reminders. To keep yourself up-to-date on schedules, especially if you have more than one child, reminders can come in handy.
6. Motivate and maintain
Your words of encouragement will help your child develop habits that help him meet his expectations. Like adults, children too need words that can cheer them up, encourage them to move ahead and help them maintain their interest in their work.
7. Make the right choice
While choosing extra-curricular activities, make sure it’s what your child wants and not something that you want. If you are not sure about long-term courses, try enrolling her in one for a shorter duration. Remember not to overburden her with activities.
8. Count on consistency
Be consistent, not only while setting up a routine, but also in your praise, encouragement and the way you discipline. Your child will thrive in an environment that is built on consistency. This kind of stability will make your child confident.
9. Stress on the right attitude
Life’s journey is more purposeful when your child has the right attitude toward it. She needs to understand that both academics and extra-curricular activities are important to have a well-balanced life.
10. Encourage group work
Study partners, group sports and extra-curricular activities involving groups can help both parents and children bond over similar interests. A group can provide support during tough times and help to keep your child more interested in what she does.
One more important thing to keep in mind is to always keep lines of communication open with your child. Let her know that she can talk to you at any time about anything. Communication with no barriers makes it easier for her to juggle the various parts of her life, because she is sure that you are there for her, guarding and guiding every step.
With these tips, help your child strike a balance in managing academics and extra-curricular activities and become a confident, independent individual.
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Hannah S Mathew