Adults have learned to balance their professional lives with their personal lives — or, at the very least, they’ve developed skills for maintaining an even keel in the face of surviving pressure.
Imagine your kid facing the same pressures. Quite simply, the learning curve will be high, especially if he is engaged in extracurricular activities, like sports, for example.
As a loving parent, you’ve likely given full support to your child to develop his interest in this chosen activity, be it tennis, ice skating, or any other sport. You know very well how these types of activities can benefit his confidence, social skills, and even academics.
But you also understand that finding the delicate balance between academic and extracurricular excellence can be difficult, especially for teens who are just starting to find their way into this world.
How can you help your kid effectively balance good academic performance with his participation in sports activities? Here are a few helpful tips for your family to consider:
1. Help him become organized.
The first thing that both of you need to do is to list down all the activities and requirements at school, for athletic activities and other family or hobby obligations, and when these are scheduled. Using a calendar, jot down all the events. It is easier to see your kid’s schedule when you can visualize it.
2. Teach him how to use his time effectively.
Left alone, kids will grasp the lowest hanging fruit. Without your guidance to help him use his time wisely, your child will do what comes easiest to him. And more often than not, that means choosing to play video games, go online, and delay doing schoolwork until the last minute.
Help him maximize his schedule by teaching him how to block available time. This means setting aside a fixed time for everything, from schoolwork to chores, from playtime and socialization to participation in sports. Help him learn how to use his weekends effectively. There needs to be some relaxation and fun to support his mental well-being, but any given Saturday may also include doing some advanced schoolwork or individual sport skill practice.
Your child should also learn how to take advantage of available pockets of time, even short amounts of free time, like travel time from school to the sports academy.
3. Don’t let him fall behind in school.
Getting behind on assignments and projects can put your child in an awkward position with his teachers and with his coaches. Make sure that he completes his assignments properly after school and that projects are worked on ahead of their due dates.
Curb his tendency to procrastinate by sticking to the schedule both of you made. This will reduce stress for everyone and allow your kid to be more productive and focused on the task at hand.
4. Utilize every available study resource.
From free periods to learning groups, academic resources are not difficult to find. At first sight, your child may appear to be at a disadvantage because of his full plate at school and on the field, but you can tip the scales in his favor by helping him find resources that can help him stay ahead in school.
School Above Everything Else
Helping your child achieve balance in all his activities can be tricky, even for experienced parents. By implementing the aforementioned tips, both you and your kid can come several steps closer to your goals.
Sometimes, however, even the best-laid plans can crumble. At this point, you either have to double your efforts to help your kid effectively manage his time, or you have to choose to remove some activities from the schedule.
Make sure your child understands that above all else, schoolwork takes priority over sports. You may even consider an agreement whereby grades must be maintained to standard in order to stay enrolled in sport.
Despite having a plan in place, parents should also be on the lookout for signs of stress. These can be as simple as headaches and stomachaches, or more nuanced behavioral changes, like irritability or fatigue. Encourage your kid to talk to you about school and sports. If he says that he is struggling, dig a little deeper and express greater empathy and support. You might even want to seek help from teachers, coaches or a medical professional.
You were a kid once and you remember how stressful school can be. Academics alone are challenging, then changing bodies, relationships and technology compound it further. When you add other activities outside of simply growing up, the stress can easily become overwhelming.
Let your child know that you support him in every endeavor that he chooses to participate in and that you support his decision should he feel the need to schedule his time differently. With your guidance, he can excel both in school and his chosen field. And for all your efforts, your child will benefit by becoming the best he can possibly be.
Possessing more than two decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Tony Kouris joined Zayed Sports City as General Manager in January 2018. With extensive career experience, a value on interpersonal relationships, and strong negotiating experience, he is positioned to support Zayed Sports City’s strategic growth and continue to innovate the site as an internationally recognised sport and entertainment destination.