I don’t know about you, but as my child has gotten older, I think I have gotten busier! It seems that I can almost look back on the time when they were into everything as a toddler and laugh when I thought that was me staying busy. Teen schedules can be especially demanding. Not only is there advanced sports practice, after school clubs and activities, as well as jobs, volunteer work and long stretches of homework time, there is also social time and trying to fit in the important family time. If your head is spinning from it all, here are some tips on how to balance busy teen schedules.
How to Balance Teen Schedules
Sit down and discuss schedules with your teen. Maybe they are overwhelmed as well and you could both do without a certain activity that is extra. Finding a way to work with your teen to reduce both of your stress can work out beautifully in the end.
Try to create routines. This helps cut the chaos in a big way. If your teen knows when you expect homework to be done and when they have time for free time and socializing with friends and significant others, then they can plan accordingly and you can, too.
Make sure your teen is taking care of themselves. It is vital that teens get enough sleep and eat healthily. This is not only because the teen years are a vital growing stage for all of us, but also because your teen will become cranky, depressed and will stop being able to keep up if they don’t take care of their body.
Do it old school with a calendar in a central location. This can be a dry erase board or a traditional paper calendar, but it is important that everyone is on the same page when it comes to schedules especially if you have more than one teen at home. This home management tool can let everyone know if what they are planning will work before they even start planning it.
Limit electronics. Teens are big on iPhones, tablets, video game systems and more, but these can make managing an already busy schedule hard if too much time is wasted on them. Limit time spent but don’t completely cut it. On the other hand, there are many time management apps out there that can help, too.
My favorite app to limit electronics is OurPact. OurPact gives you the ability to create a schedule, limit or give access to your child’s devices. My boys aren’t huge fans of having the app on their phones and iPods, but they know if they remove access to the app, their phones will be mine for an unlimited amount of time. Teens, especially have become dependent on and sometimes are too dependent on their devices. With OurPact, you have the ability to take back control of what is accessible and what isn’t.
Help guide your teens when it comes to making their own schedule. Teens often don’t think about things like the time it will take to get somewhere if what they are wanting to do will fall during a meal time or have a hard time estimating how long a task will take. Help guide your teen along the way with these time management tips and also make sure they schedule quiet and “me” time.
Try to plan family time. When kids are small, they don’t have much of their own social desires outside the home, but teens often rely on their peers for almost all of their social interaction so it is important that you make family time a priority by having a scheduled activity that they know about well in advance so they can plan their social activities accordingly.
Do you have a busy teen at home? What are some tips you have for managing this busy time with your kids?