As school starts up again, so do sports, and your kids’ extracurricular ambitions pile up like the falling autumn leaves. Managing their schedules can seem impossible, but 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 strategies into one system. 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. Whichever system you choose, keep it updated. Its word is law. Form parent alliances. It’s vital that you and your partner coordinate availability and who’s driving when, but you should go further than that. Those soccer practices Jacob’s going to? There are other teammates there, and those teammates have parents EXTRACURRICULAR OVERLOAD How to Demystify Your Kids’ Jampacked Schedules
shuttling them around, just like you are. Set up carpools to manage scheduling conflicts between your kids and drastically reduce the time you spend as a chauffeur. Maintain balance. This might come as a surprise, but you will have to say no to your child 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. Make sure you weigh each child’s needs equally, and keep the rules the same for each of them.
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