Parenting is difficult. It is the hardest job you will ever love. Kids go to school all day. They average 6 hours of homework per week. They have sports, a social life, and an expanding world to learn about. Guess who gets to guide them, teach them, console them, and encourage them? You do.
The skill of balancing school and sports is a critical lesson to learn. As your child grows, so does his agendas. In high school, sports may be a top priority if he or she is working toward a sports scholarship. However, being a star on the field will not get him far if his grades drop.
As an adult, he will be expected to excel in his career while being a partner, parent, son, and friend. This puts a little pressure on you to help him while he is a child to manage his time, energy, and health.
Most parents and teachers agree grades are a top priority. It helps to understand what he is learning and at what pace. This allows you to know what is expected of your child, and it gives you a heads-up when there is a subject he finds difficult.
Maybe he struggles with math. Threatening to take him off the team will only frustrate him more. If he does not understand math and if the class is going a bit fast for him, you are only adding punishment to pressure.
If he is doing his best and it is not good enough, punishment will only make him resent school. That is not a good thing this young in life.
Give him the tools he needs
Talk to him, his teachers, his counselors. You know your child better than anyone. Do not let them label him. He may be accused of being lazy. But, the problem may be he simply does not understand. If you are unsure, take him to a professional and find out if he has a learning problem that can be worked through.
Once you have identified the issue, address it. When he has the tools to help him succeed, and he is doing the best he can, he should be allowed his sport if time allows for it.
Tips for helping your child
- Work with him and find out how he thinks and what distracts him.
- Teach him how to use the built-in tools on the computer. Set up files for each class and use the online calendar to remind him of tests and sporting events.
- Find out what programs the school district has that will help him.
- Hire a tutor
- Use essential oils. Peppermint oil is wonderful for focus and feeling good. Lavender will help him to calm down.
- Never compare him to another child. His sister may be great at math, but have problems in science. Each person is different.
- Do not force him into an uncomfortable and ineffective position.
- You may work best in a quiet location. This may help you concentrate. Your child may grow restless and stressed by a quiet room. We are not suggesting that he be allowed to watch cartoons while he is trying to study. But sometimes music or the hum of a fan running can calm the child and he can relax enough to get his work done.
When a child masters a technique that works and he uses it to balance his life, he should be given high praise. You could take him on a nature hike. Maybe you can make treat bags to hand out to his team. You can order a variety of sugar-free candy at sweetservices.com. If you are concerned, they can be sugar-free and allergy-friendly.
Sports is a physical and emotional activity. In the world of sports, you have an obligation to the other members of the team. It is important to understand that it is not just your child. There is a whole group of children depending on each other.
It is important that you let your child know he will have to keep his school work up and his chores done if he is going to have time for the team. Do not hold it over his head as a weapon. If you see him slipping, ask him if he needs and help him. Do not coddle him but don’t freak him out either.
While you are working out your child’s schedule, let him know it is important to schedule his time better. Have an open mind and a trial run. Let your child have a say in what he wants to do. Explain clearly and lovingly, the boundaries he must stay within. He may surprise you. Give him a chance to try. Praise him, guide him, coach him, and when you have to say No, do it with love.
About the author: Lauren Webber is a former HR manager and lover of psychology who now runs daintymom.com among her other pursuits. Her interests range from the corporate world to health and self-care to home improvement and parenting. Now if only someone came up with a way to extend the day by about 20 more hours, she could dedicate herself to all of these equally and constantly.