Have you ever wondered how some children manage to get everything done, despite having many other responsibilities, while other children let outside responsibilities interfere with their studies? What explains the difference? Usually, it boils down to being able to plan well. Planning is an important skill that can shape academic success as well as career and personal success. One of the most important aspects of planning is having balance in life.
Everyone has to balance many responsibilities. Both parents and students have to weigh the aspects of life. Students have to consider academic, personal, and work commitments.
Planning how to meet those responsibilities is an essential part of your child’s job as a student. Instructors expect children to manage their own schedule in getting work Completed on time. Learning to manage a schedule well can have several payoffs:
• Decreases stress.
• Increase efficiency.
• Reduces time spent on schoolwork, usually.
Balance is one of the foundational principles to effective planning. Applying this principle involves reaching a steady state with life’s demands. Children who apply the principle of balance achieve the flowing benefits:
- Control time spent on specific activities. Time is used efficiently and productively as it relates to personal goals in all areas of life—not just one.
- Develop many aspects of life on a daily basis, including health, spirituality, academics, and social/emotional well-being.
A good activity to do with children to physically demonstrate the need for balance is the core exercise of the “superman”. Children and adults have many demands to balance – school/work, friends, family, extracurricular activities, and faith life. Have each limb represent one of these demands and the head represents God. Have your child lay flat on his stomach and see how long he can keep all limbs and his head up. This activity demonstrates that without one’s head up (God) and a firm core (that can represent organization tools like planners and regular meetings) it is impossible to keep everything balanced. This is a physical representation for children to see the importance of balance in their lives.
As we head into the Christmas season and end of the semester for students, it’s a good reminder for all of us to have balance in our lives. The best way to show our children effective planning and well structured lives is to practice these principles ourselves, modeling a balanced lifestyle. Remember to take time with your family and friends for holiday activities and especially time God – all while completing the “job” the Lord has set before you. And remember, if you keep your head up and develop your core you will be able to sustain the balance needed during this busy time of year.
How do you find balance in your own life during the Christmas season?
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise…
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick, Mom of two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.
Author of Own Your Education! A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (And Life)