As a working parent with school-age children you have two full time jobs. Sometimes managing your full work schedule plus helping with your kid’s school work and attending parent teacher conferences seems like too daunting a task.
Luckily, there are effective ways that can help you manage these overwhelming demands.
1- Implement study time/hall in your house: Having a designated time and place for your kids to do homework and for you to help them out with it will make it easier for your kids to develop a habit of doing homework and it will also give you some time to catch up on emails, reading, or office work. Moreover, this will help your kids in being able to focus without distractions looming around them.
2- Be honest with your boss or supervisor: One way to take some of the stress off and having to run out of the office to attend a parent teacher conference or any other school activity is to be honest with your boss or supervisor and explain why you need the time off. Instead of just saying “I’ll be back after lunch break” or “I have to leave early”, make sure you share with them the reason. Chances are they will be more understanding.
3- Prioritize, especially during semester ending and for longer projects: There are always times when school is more demanding both for parents and children. Semester ending, long projects, science fairs, these are all occasions that require more attention than usual. If this is the case, make sure you can prioritize activities. This might mean that for a couple of days or a week family time will be synonymous with helping the kids’ study or helping put together the science project.
4- Become a pro in time management: Your schedule, both work and personal, will be full. To keep things from getting out of hand and unmanageable, make sure you plan your days and week ahead of time, making sure to always leave some time for yourself.
5- Connect and collaborate with other parents: Sometimes you won’t be able to excuse yourself from a meeting or you have to personally visit a client. For times like these, it’s always useful to have a good relationship with other parents. They can help you by dropping off or picking up your kids from school and they can even help with homework.
Pro tip: working from home isn’t ideal. If you need to get work done and can’t concentrate at home, consider joining a coworking or flexible workspace!