All parents want to feel confident during the school years and with a few of these ideas you’ll be well on the way to having structures and systems to lean on. There’s typically a lot going on in the household of families with school age kids. If we’re not careful a lot can fall into the lap of one of the parents. That brings a lot of pressure and is overwhelming. It’s also easy to get stuck doing the things that shout the loudest than the things that are most important.
Whatever stage you are in with school age kids, it’s not too late to get started on these ideas. The biggest cry I hear is, “If I had time I would….” You will have more time once you establish what is important in your family to cultivate and you’ll feel more confident.
Just choose one and let that be your focus for a season. Having that one thing as a focus helps you see what works for your family. Right now we’re working on some life skills because it’s summer break because we have space and time.
Here’s a good way to get started.
Observe– what’s happening right now.
Note– the struggles, the problems and the things that work.
Suggest– be brave and suggest small doable changes in a collective, “Let’s try something to make things better” than a whole scale change that the family comes home to new rules.
Learn– look up different ideas, scripts via podcasts, books, family, friends. Be deliberate in seeking alternate solutions. Ask questions in your friendship and online groups.
The aim is to
- seek clarity and continue to create the family lifestyle you wish for your family.
- be less exhausted.
- enjoy this stage
- live, laugh and learn together as a family
4 ways to get out of overwhelm with school age kids
Create and maintain systems at home that work on the family flow ( bedtimes, lunches, backpacks, laundry, getting out the door)
Establish communication channels and times for conversation ( family meetings, individual times with each child, times when there’s downtime or mundane times so you can do side by side time– easier to talk if doing something. Make the best use of the time you have in the car and on the move to have conversations that make you smile, laugh, learn and share.Also good channels to talk with your partner and awesome family habits)
Seek and attract– be around people who are doing what you want to do, cultivate relationships that challenge you, be friends with those in a different season. Encourage deeper connections then you can be more transparent, more real. When we’re so busy, our friendships and relationships may continue but everything becomes superficial because there’s no time to go into the details. There’s no relationship to relate because so much has happened. It takes time and our time is spent elsewhere.
Cultivate your friends’ group. This is a big problem for parents of school age kids- nurturing their relationships and having energy and time for self care.
Be flexible to try new and ‘different’ for your family and not what’s popular.
Trial things for a season and revise, refine and adapt or let go.
School years parenting is about trying many things and finding what’s right for the family.
There will be mistakes and about turns. See the lesson and move on.
Being confident doesn’t equal being perfect.
When you have these types of things in place it’s much easier for the household to run smoothly. Each person knows their role and we foster family. Kids learn that their contributions are valued and valuable.
Lucy Clarke says
“School years parenting is about trying many things and finding what’s right for the family. There will be mistakes and about turns. See the lesson and move on. Forgive yourself. Being confident doesn’t equal being perfect.” Thanks for this reminder! Ultimately our goal is finding what works and what’s appropriate for our family. When things don’t go the way we have originally planned, we ought to be more kind to ourselves and accept that it is all part of the process. 🙂