The balancing act that one creates between their personal life and their professional life is critical. We develop many of our attitudes and habits not as adults, but as kids. We often act on what we see in the home, and it becomes the way we act and run our homes as adults. I know the way I run my home is much the same way my mother ran ours when I was younger. We tend to replicate these practices because it is a learned behavior.
The same can be true of how we look to our careers and our personal lives. So as parents, it important that we not only demonstrate with our actions positive behavior regarding personal and professional, but that we discuss it with our kids as well. They also need to understand how to balance and create boundaries so as they grow, they can bette prioritize and be well-rounded individuals. Discussing Work Life Balance with them in a way that they can understand is a wonderful way to reinforce healthy life skills.
I’ve developed a list of Five Work Life Balance Lessons to Teach Your Kids that aren’t only educational, but are lessons that they can take with them from childhood to adulthood. Check out my list:
My 10 year old and I do a lot of time management exercises together. She can get frustrated easily, so by utilizing time management, it allows her some composure time. It allows her to calm down, refocus, and then go back to the task at hand. Utilize time management not only for projects and homework but for chores and other things too. It will give them a sense of time, responsibility, and then allows them to shift focus onto something else, making sure they aren’t spending too much time doing one thing.
My daughter loves to sign up for every extracurricular activity there is, but of course I don’t allow that. Our kids need time “off” from school and activities just like we do. Don’t over-schedule your kids and build in time in their schedule for free-time.
Teach your kids the art of self rewards, rewards they pick and eventually administer themselves. This will come in handy as they get older and will help them get to the “finish-line”, whatever that may be. The self reward could be spending their allowance on a toy they want when they reach a certain goal, or something as simple as stickers or a treat when they do something deserving. The self part comes in handy because they will start relying on themselves to celebrate their accomplishments on their own, without having to have it always administered by someone else, which will bode well for them as they get older and enter the workforce or start their own endeavor.
It is important that your children know their stressors so they can work to stop them before they start. My daughter gets really frustrated sometimes during math homework, so we have to exercise the “relax, relate, release” method of things. We take a break, I allow her to get some water and get back to her center, and then we slowly start back again. She now can do this on her own, and as she gets older, will no longer need prompts from me to know when to step away. This helps balance her while teaching her to understand when it’s time to refocus.
Encourage your child to have at least one hobby, something they can partake in between school and other activities they may be involved in. Promoting their love of said hobby gives them time to do something they enjoy, and just may be something they continue to indulge in as they get older. We all need a creative outlet.
Work hard, Play hard. That has always been my motto. Too much of one thing can be a bad thing, so we all need balance to work that out. Starting them while their young with Work Life Balance lessons will help them as they go from school, to college, to the workforce, to whatever it is they want to do.