Being a successful college student is a challenge. Adding children to the equation can make the challenge even greater. Many parents who return back to school face the difficult task of balancing studying and parenting. A few tips can move this task from a challenge to a to-do.
Involve your child in your studying.
Often times, parents are too eager to get rid of their children during study time. However, getting them involved will allow your child to be a part of the process.
For younger children, make it a game and ask them to help you study. Allow your child to highlight your book or place stars on important information. Toddlers are extremely inquisitive and want to learn. Teach your child what you learned, even if it is physics or calculus. Chances are he or she will not understand it, but reciting the information will help you retain it.
With school aged children, study together. Pick a spot and a time to study each night. This will teach your child that you value your education and he or she should value it as well.
Make it fun. Prepare snacks for you and your child and take study breaks. Using a cooking timer often is a fun method for younger children.
Ask for your child’s help in preparing your time to study.
For younger children ask them to draw a “Do not Disturb Sign” to hang on the door. They can hang the sign up for others who may disturb the studying.
Ask your child to help get your books and studying materials. Children really love to help. So, allow them to get your pens, highlighters, and favorite study snacks. Also, make sure they get their books, crayons, and a juice box as well. They will get a kick out of studying just like mom or dad.
Parents often use positive and negative reinforcements to direct their children in school. Surely, your child has received positive rewards for getting good grade on an assignment or making the honor roll. Reverse the roles; have your child give you a positive reward for an accomplishment. Make a deal with your son or daughter that if you get an A they will wash dishes for a week.
Keep the communication and studying ongoing.
Discuss with your children why you are going back to school. Often times, it has something to do with providing a better life for them. Most of the time, children only know that mom cannot be bothered or dad is busy. However, if you explain to your child why you are studying chances are they may better understand the importance.
Juggling school and parenting can be a very difficult task. However, involving your child in your education will lead to a greater reward when you achieve your goals. You will have the gift of sharing your accomplishments with your child.
About the Author:
Shavonne Ruffin is currently a mental health coordinator working in the field of family and child development. She will be graduating with her doctorates degree in the field of generalized counseling. Currently, she teaches courses in the area of family and child development and helps her students face the challenges of balancing education and family life.