Home 1 Minute Tips Managing Your Work/Life Balance This Summer

Managing Your Work/Life Balance This Summer

Tracee Perryman, PhD, in pinstriped blazer and whilte blouse talks about creating summer balance in duties
Dr. Perryman

Guest editorial by Tracee Perryman, PhD

Dr. Tracee Perryman lists three strategies to help families balance their work and home commitments over the summer.

1. Start early with instilling developmentally appropriate expectations for independence in children. The Centers for Disease Control has excellent handouts for developmentally appropriate expectations by age. Instilling independence and cooperation sets the stage for children to assist with their self-care, as well as assisting with household tasks. Building competence in children helps us better set boundaries, and focus on our time on those most essential family responsibilities, such as being attentive, nurturing, and teaching important life lessons. Thus, we feel more satisfied with our parenting, and feel more comfortable balancing work and family responsibilities.
2. Stick to a routine. Yes, in our professional lives, there are unanticipated issues that come up. Sometimes, those issues do need our immediate attention. However, when we have a routine, we are in an even better position to address unanticipated issues with work and family. And we are less likely to become as anxious, because we have taken care of the essential responsibilities up front. As professional women, we are usually pretty good at establishing a work routine. It is imperative to do the same at home. If family game time is at a certain day and time, then do not compromise unless there is a serious emergency. Otherwise, you are setting the tone for your children to not follow routines, or complete tasks. And, that creates more confusion.
3. Quality over quantity. Plan special activities for your children. Special does not necessarily mean that it has to be expensive, or a week long experience. It just means that it needs to be an activity occurring outside of the norm, and something that your child(ren) love(s) to do. It also means that your child(ren) should have your full attention. Try to plan these special activities out in advance, so that they have good things to look forward to. Use those special activities as incentives for maintaining household chores, carrying out developmentally appropriate activities independently, and engaging in positive behavior.
Dr. Tracee Perryman is the author of Elevating Futures: A Model For Empowering Black Elementary Student Success. She also is the CEO and co-founder of Center of Hope Family Services, where she leads the organization’s mission to improve the life outcomes of individuals and families living in urban settings.
Read other strategies on health and well-being and finding your work/life balance here.
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