Every parent knows that a poorly organized tangle of kids’ activities is a recipe for a migraine. As school starts up again, so does sports season, and your kids’ extracurricular ambitions pile up like the falling autumn leaves. Don’t let yourself get burned out. Here are some tips to stay sane in the midst of the extracurricular whirlwind. Consolidate all your scheduling, jotting, and activity-tracking into one system. Let’s get one thing straight: You can’t afford to be scrawling “Abby piano lesson rescheduled 9/21” on the first scrap of paper you come across. That doesn’t mean you have to be hyper-organized, but it does mean that you need to keep your entire calendar in one place, whether that place is Google Calendar, a fridge whiteboard, or the old-fashioned standby: a calendar with a lighthouse on every page. One particularly attractive option is the Cozi app (cozi.com), which not only consolidates an entire family’s calendars, but allows you to include to-do lists, shopping lists, recipes, chore checklists, and more. Whichever system you choose, keep it updated. Its word is law. Form parent alliances. Those soccer practices Jacob’s going to? There are other teammates there, and they have parents shuttling them around, just like you are. Set up carpools — Noah’s mom drives them both Tuesday while you’ve got Thursdays — to manage scheduling conflicts between your kids and drastically reduce the time you spend as a chauffeur. To simplify the process and make sure everyone’s on the same page, check out the Carpool-Kids app at
carpool-kids.com. It’ll let you directly invite other parents and set up weekly or one-shot carpool schedules. Maintain balance. You almost certainly will need to say no to additional extracurricular activities every now and then. Sure, simultaneous baseball, football, and soccer seasons might seem healthy and fun for your kid, but you need to consider your own needs, as well. Many parents give their children free rein over what to choose, but limit activities to one or two per season. Johnny wants to do underwater basket weaving? Strange choice, but sure — though he’ll have to abandon either fencing or ice hockey. Make sure you weigh each child’s needs equally, and keep the rules the same for each of them.
How To Demystify Your Kids’ Jampacked Schedules
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