Frank Schofield, superintendent, Logan City School District
As we progress through a new school year, we are often faced with the challenge of helping our children balance the various tasks placed in front of them. Even positive activities like arts, athletics and homework can be overwhelming if we allow them to “unbalance” us. From the writings of Bridget Schulte, author of “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time,” here are three tips that can help us maintain balance for ourselves and our children:
- Find your family’s balance point. Too much activity is bad for children and your family, but so is too little. In the words of Bridget, “Our brains are wired to seek novelty, and they rewire and form new connections when we try something new, learn something, see something different.” Aim for that elusive place where children are stimulated and active, not frenetic and exhausted, which may change with time and circumstances.
- Establish “anchor times.” These are moments scheduled into the day that allow everyone to connect as a family, such as family dinner. “If everyone in the family knows there are anchor times set in the schedule, it can make the swirl of activities more manageable because you know no one’s going to miss time for the important stuff — making the most of your time together.”
- Make time for fun. Even if our days are full of “shoulds” and “musts,” be sure to schedule time for fun. One fun activity can help children and adults better manage their various tasks. As Bridget says, “Kids, like adults, need unstructured downtime. They need to get bored and learn how to get ‘unbored,’ and we need to let go the expectation as parents that we’re there to entertain them, or that their brains will turn to mush unless they’re doing something productive every single minute.”
With my five children — and the various activities they are involved in — my wife and I sometimes feel we are riding a tornado, but when we apply these principles, our sense of balance is strengthened, and our entire family approaches life with a more positive attitude.
I hope you are experiencing a positive start to the new school year, and I look forward to seeing you and your children around the community.