(BPT) - Whoever said "kids are lazy these days" clearly doesn't have kids. As countless parents will attest, it seems like kids have fuller schedules than ever before. In addition to learning the fundamentals of algebra, reading and geography, most have a busy after-school schedule as well. By the time the final bell rings, they've had a full day, but it isn't even half over.
Keeping up with your kids' schedule can be a challenge. Whether your child is a varsity athlete, has a part in the upcoming school play, or participates on the debate team or other activities, here are four invaluable ways you can keep things organized and be more active in their lives.
1. Help each other out
Remember, there are plenty of other parents out there who are probably swamped with all their kids' activities. Being able to talk to someone in the same situation you are in can provide invaluable support and give you ideas on how to manage your busy schedule. Also, just like your children can make new friends when participating in their activities, you too might meet a new friend. Once you've connected with a friend, coordinate car pools and assist with important decisions about new uniforms or facilities.
2. Find an easy way to stay in the loop
Picture this familiar situation: Before your child's soccer game, you search your inbox to find an old email with the season's schedule. Even after finding it, you cannot help doubting if the game is still on.
Whatever activity your child is involved with, be sure to reach out and talk to their coach or leader about better ways to keep parents informed. As mobile is the way to reach anyone nowadays, using a group communication app like BAND helps update all parents instantly. Unlike other group apps that are essentially mass text messaging tools, BAND allows coaches to keep an event calendar that alerts all parents and communicates directly with them in an organized manner.
3. Establish routines
Balancing your work life with your family life and all the additional activities your children might be involved with outside of school can seem overwhelming. To stay a few steps ahead of the chaos, try to impose some order onto your family's life by establishing a routine. This doesn't have to be a strict minute-by-minute schedule, but rather, a framework. Something as simple as consistent bedtimes, mealtimes and study times can create a solid structure around which you can balance family life with the numerous activities and events going on in everyone's lives so you can all plan accordingly.
4. Take care of yourself.
Yes, your child may be busy, but so are you. And though they are your top priority, sometimes you need to put yourself first. Don't feel guilty about this. If you need a massage or a half day to rejuvenate and get back on top of your game, chances are it will make life better and more balanced for everyone.
Busy kids mean busy parents. And though it might seem to be a challenge to stay on top of everything, with the right tools and mindset, you can find that balance and be present for your kids.