Do you find yourself spending more time hustling your children out the front door than you spend enjoying your time together at home? You are not alone. In today’s world, there are so many worthy causes pressing for our time that it becomes very easy to over-commit ourselves with responsibilities and activities. However, when we over schedule ourselves and our children we are not teaching them how to recognize their own limits and prioritize their time.
The Benefits of Scheduling Less
- You will have more time to spend one-on-one time with your children.
- You can spend more time providing your family with a fresh, homemade dinner. You can eat it while sitting down at the table together rather than grabbing a quick sandwich as you load up the car.
- You will have more time to perform better at the responsibilities you choose to keep.
- Downtime. A popular buzz word today, but it is true. We all need time to sit down, relax and enjoy some time doing something that lifts our spirits and rejuvenates our souls.
Think of other benefits unique to your family and write them down so you’ll remember just why you need to say no to one more activity.
Reduce Your Outside Commitments
While it is important to complete the task or responsibility you committed to doing, you can excuse yourself. Any respectable organization will admire and respect your decision to put your family first. Recognize your limitations, decide what you can still do and excuse yourself from the responsibilities that you can not fit into your new schedule. You do not have to explain further than “My family needs more of my time.” You may provide a more in depth explanation if you want, but do not feel obligated to do so. If your schedule later opens up and you want to return, you can do that, too.
Involve Your Children
Involve your children as you learn to schedule less. Talk to them about your reasons for excusing yourself from various activities. Role play with them to help all of you to grow more comfortable with saying no to new responsibilities and activities when they do not fit in your schedules. When your child comes to you with another activity she wants to do, walk her through the steps of determining what will have to go if she takes on a new activity. Also, take a look at what it will require from you to help him keep his commitment.
Send the Right Message
Each time you put your family ahead of outside obligations, you are telling your children that they are very important people in your life. That knowledge will go a long way in helping them to feel confident and secure in your love and create a bond between you that will help you all through the rough times that do come from time to time in parenting. As you help your children to learn how to recognize they abilities & limitations, problem solve, prioritize their time and put family first, you are helping them to become a healthy and successful adults.
Photo credit: ppdigital @ morgueFile
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