Kids are no different from adults when it comes to leisure time; they resent the intrusion of work upon their free time and especially when it comes to holiday school breaks. I know a lot of adults who will procrastinate on the work until the last minute, but spending panicked time trying to accomplish something under a tight deadline isn’t a way to live a life and it isn’t something that I want for my children. And the kids aren’t going to learn a proper way to do things if I don’t at least sit down with them and work on how to manage time and work properly.
And in the last several days, I haven’t served them well.
This particular break, the family had multiple activities planned – including a weekend visit to distant relatives – and we hit the ground running for getting into the Spring Break spirit. Note that my kids are all still in elementary and secondary school and none are in college. Kids came in the door and backpacks hit the floor; I did review the items that came home but didn’t press on exactly what homework was due on what particular day. And the party commenced.
And with school in session tomorrow, we returned late this afternoon to find that there was actually a fair amount of homework still to be done. Younger and Middle were able to get things done in a timely fashion but Eldest is still sitting next to me as I write, and will probably stay here until after midnight.
So what do I take from this screw-up?
- I have to remember that time management is largely a learned skill and not something that’s going to come naturally to any youngster.
- While there’s sufficient time available, it’s up to me to walk through the scheduled work with the kid and help them to figure out how to plan their work so that the late night extravaganzas are minimized.
- I can’t just lay back and grouse at the kids when a fair part of the responsibility lays on my shoulders. Kids learn discipline and it takes a large investment of time and repetition to get that concept across.