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Striking a balance between student and parent

shutterstock_64834870My father graduated with his Bachelor’s when I was 10 and my mother successfully completed several art classes throughout my childhood. Their dedication and effort to grow through education is one of my strongest childhood memories.

Both of my parents pursued their education while I was a kid. It was a different time then, and I was fortunate enough to join them in class often. I would sit in the back, reading, drawing or doing Mad Libs. I strongly believe that their modeling played an integral part in my desire to pursue my education but also to serve in higher education. It is possible to involve your children in your learning and be a successful student while striking a balance as student and parent. This balance can become an art form with some of these helpful tips:

  • Plan activities for your child just as you plan your study time. Reward your child for doing these activities during your study time.
  • You should have a set study space. Make sure it’s child proofed and has toys.
  • Be sure to schedule the kind of studying that can be interrupted. You could, for instance, write out flash cards. Save the tasks that require sustained attention for other times, with fewer distractions.
  • Schedule your study time. Kids are sticklers for routine, so your study time should also become routine.
  • See if you can arrange for time to study at school before you come home. It doesn’t have to be a long study session. Thirty minutes could accomplish a lot when you’re focused and away from distractions.
  • Make it a game. Sometimes involving your kids helps you study, and you’re spending quality time with your child. Ask them to hold flash cards for you, for example.
  • Use opportunities within the community, such as a local library story time. While your child is being entertained or supervised, you can stay close by while studying.
  • Find a regular playmate for your child. Some children can pair off with close friends and safely retreat to their rooms for hours of private play. You can check on them occasionally and still get lots of work done.

I can speak as the child of a student. I don’t think I have ever been prouder of my father than I was the day that he graduated and each time my mother reported back with an A in each of her art classes. I felt lucky to be a part of their educational journey and my father’s graduation day. I regularly reflect back on my memories of both my parents sacrificing and balancing their lives to ultimately improve mine. I can confidently say your children will reflect positively on your efforts as well. You never know how your modeling will impact their educational futures. My parents probably didn’t realize the impact they were making on my education at the time. How will you model learning and the importance of education with your children?

Source: “Studying with kids underfoot”

Danielle Laban

About Danielle Laban

Danielle is the Director of Student Experience at National Louis. She's an experienced student affairs professional who is focused on student success. Danielle earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Northern Colorado and her Master of Arts at Roosevelt University.

3 comments on “Striking a balance between student and parent

  1. I am very proud of you, and blessed to have had made such an unknowing impact on your education. You are an inspiration to many.

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