Balancing the Pressures of Life as an Adult College Student and Parent

Leaving the Stress at School

College is a lot of work. With classes to attend, papers to write, homework to complete, and notes to write, it can be more stressful than a full time job. Being a parent is also a full time job. You must feed your children, keep them clean, teach them about the world around them, and pay attention to them. When you combine the pressures of college with the stresses of parenting, you end up with what sometimes seems like an unbearable amount of stress.

Maintaining our mental and physical health is so important, but this can be difficult to accomplish when you are so busy. If you make healthy lifestyle choices you will have an easier time focusing and putting quality work into the activities in which you partake (as a parent, and a student). One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to find ways to de-stress. In order to give both your studies and your children the quality care and attention they deserve, this article shares some tips on how you can optimize your time and reduce your stress! Your physical, mental, and emotional health must be optimal to ensure that you provide quality care to your child and are still able to fully dedicate yourself to school. Here are some specific ways in which you can ensure that you’re in peak physical and mental condition.

Get Enough Sleep

You can’t mix work and sleep. Don’t do homework or classwork in your bedroom, in other words, you should dedicate that room to rest and relaxation. You should also avoid doing work within an hour before bed. This will help get your mind in a relaxed place ready to “turn off” for the night. Getting a proper amount of sleep is extremely important to ensure that you are healthy and well-rested, if you are exhausted, you won’t be able to focus on your studies.

Establishing a bedtime routine, keeping your sleeping space cleaned, taking cbd oils, or meditating can be a great way to ease yourself to sleep. As a parent, it may be very hard to get enough sleep, as children tend to keep parents up all night. Taking some of these steps to ensure that you get some solid sleep will make a world of difference in how you can perform when you are awake.

Take Time For Yourself

Along with getting a good night’s sleep, it also helps to take time for yourself each day while you are awake. Having a skincare routine, taking baths, and reading are great ways to have time to yourself while also taking a break from the day and being productive at the same time. We all need time without our children that are not spent in the classroom sometimes. Make sure you still carve out time to spend time with friends and family to give you a social outlet too. Having someone else watch your children is good for you, and actually really good for them as it allows them to become familiar and comfortable with other people.

Watch Your Health

On a busy day when you have been in class, driven all over the town and picked up all the kids, it is so easy to grab fast food and forget about exercising. In reality, you so badly need the proper energy to keep up with everything going on in your life. Nutritious foods will keep you full and keep your body working well. Lots of fast foods can weaken your immune system, and you will be more likely to fall ill and miss work, school, and quality time with your children.

On the same hand, you should strive to stay in good shape! There are many online workout routines that you can do right from home, but going to the gym may be a good way to have some alone time. Watching your health will set a good example for your children, and you will teach them from a young age that eating well and exercising properly is important.

Keep Your Children Busy

While you are at school, your children could take part in a sport, music class, or other hobby. It can be really beneficial for them to learn a skill now – one that they may take with them throughout life. Many colleges also offer childcare services, so contact your college to see if they have any such programs. Keeping children busy can help to educate them while you are receiving an education yourself. It’s a win-win situation!

Spend Time with Them

Taking time for yourself should never make you feel guilty, because a g and have enough time to focus on your studies, you can’t miss too much quality time with your children. The relationship that a child has with its parent carries throughout all of their life, and how you and your child interact now can set them up for success in the future. Go to the zoo, take them to the park, and play games with them. Explore new places with them. This will really help your children to get the most out of their childhood, and they will be incredibly grateful for that in the future.

This guest post is contributed by Piper McIntosh. You can reach her at piperlmcintosh@gmail.com.

Trauma Informed Care 7/19/19

Increasing Parent Engagement Will Secure Your Child a Better Future

When we’re discussing parent engagement, we’re talking about efforts made by parents which directly contribute to a child’s success in school and subsequently, in life. It’s an idea based on the collaboration between parents and school staff with the goal of improving the development of children.

The idea itself is not very new. We’ve known for over 120 years that parents and teachers should work together and the rich history of the National Parent Teacher Association is the proof of that. However, the relationship in that alliance has evolved significantly in the last couple of decades and the positive effects of parent engagement are duly recognized in the scientific community.

How Does It Benefit Your Child?

Research has shown that engaging parents in their child’s education can be very valuable for the child in more ways than one. Numerous studies support the thesis that parent engagement increases academic achievement through improved school attendance, higher grades, and better test scores. This effect is produced by a number of factors, which include setting high expectations, developing useful routines and habits, creating an environment that encourages learning, building a warm and cooperative home setting, and actively supporting the child   All of these factors also contribute to the parent as a strong role model.

But parent engagement affects child development beyond these school-defined conditions and it can also help build desirable character traits. Having engaged parents can inspire more positive attitudes towards particular subjects and reduce the risk of children getting involved with substance abuse and problematic behavior. Lastly, it increases confidence and helps children become more well-adjusted.

Types of Parent Engagement

A great way for differentiating between different types of parent engagement is through the use of Dr. Joyce Epstein’s Framework. She recognizes six types of parental involvement:

  1. Parenting – establishing a proper home environment that provides the child with optimal learning conditions
  2. Communicating – creating effective, two-way channels of communication between parents and the school staff
  3. Volunteering – engaging parents in volunteering practices to help with school-related activities
  4. Learning at home – providing parents with helpful information which empowers them to take part in and contribute to home-learning activities
  5. Decision making – including parents in school-related decisions and providing them with a forum to express their opinions
  6. Collaborating with community – utilizing community resources to improve school practices and student learning

Since parent engagement is a team effort, both the parents and the school bear the responsibility of taking an active approach. There is plenty that can be done on each side of the partnership, but the primary condition is acting in good faith while acknowledging the importance these activities will have on child development.

What Can Teachers Do?

The school normally reaches out to the parents and establishes channels of communication, but that doesn’t mean it always should. The teacher’s role in parent engagement is consultative but with high demands for taking initiative. They should actively partake in all of the 6 types of parent engagement because their expertise is invaluable in these situations.

Building strong and personal relationships around mutual goals are key for making all other attempts impactful and efficient. If you succeed to make this the foundation, you can build on it by consulting or educating parents. Invite them to learn more about what’s going on at school and give them a chance to influence the decisions that are being made. The parents will also be more open to engaging in school activities and volunteering if they are better acquainted with you and your goals. Finally, try to build the momentum of cooperative spirit by including the community’s resources to improve the learning experiences of children.

What Can Parents Do?

Any activity a parent engages in with a goal of improving their child’s education is a valid topic for discussion with teachers, including some of the other members of the school staff. So whatever you do, try to make an effort to seek out and utilize their council. They’re experienced in education, well-acquainted with your child’s situation and might have some insights about your child’s behavior you aren’t aware of.

One of the suggestions for parents is todevelop the right environment for their children. Children will spend a vast majority of their time at home. But just because they’re not at school doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be learning. At home with our kids, we can provide them with a relaxed and informal way of getting to know the world  and its intricacies. There are many ways in which you can create a great learning environment at home.

Parents should also work on communicating with their children. Start by simply talking more often and work your way up the ladder. You can even create daily routines that will allow you an opportunity to talk to one another or adjust the existing ones where talking won’t distract you from what you’re doing. Chores and mealtimes are a great place to start. Be sure to show interest in their activities and praise effort over results.

What’s Stopping You from Being More Engaged in Your Child’s Education?

A  parent’s greatest joy is to see their child grow and learn. We want them to be confident, responsible and develop habits for being productive in the workplace of tomorrow. Most of us are aware that we can contribute to our child’s education, yet we’re not always choosing to do so. Is it that we’re too tired from working all day and we can’t focus because our energy levels are running low? Or is it that we think they’ll be better off if they do it all by themselves? It’s an interesting question to ask, and it is one that can shed light on what we prioritize over our child’s education.

Studies show our engagement can improve our child’s chances of success but how engaged should we get? The answer may change based on a given situation, but parent engagement certainly needs to be a balanced effort. Your best bet is probably staying somewhere in the middle, trying not to fall into the trap of being too careless with your child, but still allowing them room to grow and explore.

AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.