Parenting Vivian | 01 Jan 2011 07:39 am

10 Smart Tips For Helping Parents Balance Priorities

Betty is a divorced soccer mom with five kids. She works to make ends meet. She loves her summers because it is less hectic for her. During the school year, she fights a torturing schedule of kids’ activities. Tomorrow will begin in another school year. She wonders if her life will ever change.


Although the summer is almost over, the temperature just got hotter. With the news that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, it set off a media frenzy and has ignited political warfare between liberals and conservatives. The fundamental question that is being raised is “can a mother of five which includes a pregnant teenager and a special needs infant take on such a demanding position in America?” This question has great debaters on both sides of the aisle. However, I think many individuals are missing one key point in this sensitive issue. In order to achieve one’s personal ambition, what sacrifice is he or she willing to make? Throughout history, great heroes have mastered great achievements. However, they have sacrificed their families. American heroes like Ronald Reagan and JF Kennedy were not known as the greatest fathers. This question should be asked of all ambition seekers who are parents. The question is actually gender neutral.

Are parents prepared for this school year? Managing family time is an important part of preparation. Many people get overwhelmed with balancing work and family; they can obtain a big dose of “Back-to-School” Blues. Parents are feeling even more pressure as school systems continue to shorten the summer breaks. According to a Marketing Data Retrieval study, the percentage of school openings before September 1st rose from 51% in 1988 to 76% in 2000; this analysis represented all 14,300 public school districts. Many parents are burnt out and need better tools to cope with their increasingly difficult schedules. The survey noted that one-half of workers reported that they feel a great deal of job stress. In fact, this fast pace is destroying family life. Forty-four percent of working moms admitted being preoccupied with work while at home; thirty-six of working dads reported they bring work home at least once a week. This article provides insight for overcoming the stresses of managing a hectic school life for working parents.

Possible Solutions

The question that many families battle with is, “how do we balance work and family life?” Many parents are so obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder that they fail to realize their family is suffering. Individuals are often driven by their personal schedules or their children’s schedules instead of a balanced approach. This leaves parents scrambling to find a happy medium between their personal ambitions and the well-being of the overall family structure. Today’s children are so busy that they need their own blackberries to keep up with their schedules. This example was set by watching their own parents. Therefore, parents must find a healthy balance between family and work life. As a matter of fact, parent must ensure that personal activities do not destabilize family relationships. The following are helpful tips for parents with active children to ensure a successful school year:

  • Plan ahead. Develop a strategy for dealing with family issues beforehand.
  • Prioritize. Determine what’s really important to you and your family members.
  • Goal. Develop individual’s goals that do not conflict with your family objectives.
  • Family calendar. Establish a family calendar to better schedule events around your family.
  • Listen. Take the time to listen to each other away from distractions.
  • Say “No.” Learn to reject those things that do not add value to your family.
  • Family time. Set aside a specific period to focus on family needs.
  • Children activities. Set a limit on children activities for the season.
  • Commitment. Don’t over-commit yourself to too many activities.
  • Mental time. Be sure to set aside time for yourself.


As the politics continue to be played at the expense of Sarah Palin’s family, each parent in America should stop and evaluate their own situation. While life may be slowing down for some people in this country, many parents operate at a hectic pace to pursue the American Dream…at any cost. Parents need to regain control of their families. Managing a family can be a difficult task, especially during the early school year. However, with the proper amount of planning, parents and children can both enjoy a productive year. America depends on strong families because the home is the basic foundation for society. Therefore, strong families should properly balance work to help foster stronger communities. By adequately preparing activities and setting priorities, parents can minimize the pressures of a new school year. It is not too late to regain control.

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