Parenting Tip: Make Time for Your Kids While You Still Can

Life is busy, for parents these days. Most of us work at least 40 hours per week, bringing home a living.

Parents get up before the sun, rush the kids to school or day care, and then deal with gridlock on the freeway.

The evening is no different. We pick up the kids, rush home, make dinner, and go to bed. If our kids are lucky, they see us for a couple of hours each day.

Not enough?

I didn’t think so.

How do you strike a balance between work and time with the kids? It’s not an easy task, but it is possible.

Mom and child
Mom and child

Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Organize your life. Put your week down on paper before it starts. This includes a menu for meals, time for shopping, driving time, chores, and anything else that you put in your day.
  • Consider your tasks and decide if your kids can share that time with you by helping or decide if they can just be there while you complete the task. Pencil that time into your schedule.
  • Turn off the TV. Board games are a great way to get some time with the family. You can record your favorite shows and watch them later.
  • Schedule a special time with each one of your kids. That doesn’t mean they get the whole day. It’s entirely up to you. This can become a special tradition that will create memories that will last.

Don’t be discouraged if finding extra time seems impossible at first.

By putting in the effort, you will eventually find a way to make it happen.

Trust me, 20 years from now, you’ll be so glad you did (and so will they!).

Schools: Private or Public?

Enrolling your child in the right school is an important part of parenting. All across the country there are schools specializing in different areas of study. The question is which type of school will fit your child’s lifestyle? Some factors to consider are class size, location, and public school vs. private school. Public and private both have their benefits and their drawbacks. But it’s important that your child be compatible with the system you choose.

Public schools offer a more traditional schooling experience. Usually, public schools are attended by the children in the surrounding neighborhood. That’s where the term “neighborhood school” comes from. Public schools offer a more general curriculum to their students, and may have a limited number of after school activities, student organizations etc. But public schools are also full of the student expression, individuality and character that are sometimes lacking in the structure of private schools. And while they may seem less extravagant than some private schools, public schools undeniably bring an interesting element to the table.

Private schools usually offer a more extensive academic experience, and smaller class sizes which allow emphasis on individual learning. Private schools can cost more to attend, with high tuition fees and specific school uniforms. More qualified and experienced teachers often choose to teach at private schools, whereas new teachers are often relegated to public schools. There will likely be more money for extra-curricular programs in a private school. The decision you make should be based on your child’s personality and your own financial situation.

You And Your Tween

As kids enter their early adolescent years, it can be difficult to relate to them. They have the urge to explore their own independence and redefine themselves while parents have the urge to protect them from a world that is new and more adult. It becomes the parent’s responsibility to find a middle ground with their “tweens” and negotiate issues that may arise. Try not to scold your child if they make a mistake. Be rational and talk about their behavior.

The term “tweens” refers to the age group of 8-12 year olds, who are at the end of their early childhood and are entering their adolescent years. It can be difficult to realize that these young people deserve more independence as they get older. The pop culture that children are exposed to can have a big influence on their ideals, values, and who they become. So, it’s important to be careful of what you let your children be exposed to. More and more often, role models for young people such as singers and actors encourage adult behavior too early.

Children need to know the boundaries that are being set for them. They need structure and even though they may not like it, they need rules. The media has a big influence of everyone in this culture, not just children. But children are particularly impressionable. This makes it more likely that the media will play a part in the decisions they make. Parents need to be there to support their “tweens” and make sure that they have a stable system they can trust.

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