The Pick and Choose Technique

Do you spend all your free time driving your kids to a range of after-school activities and clubs? Are your kids exhausted? If so, and life's getting on top of you, try Supernanny’s pick and choose technique to make everyone's schedule more manageable

Some kids have so much to do, they have no down-time at all. if that sounds like you, then help is at hand. Use the Supernanny Pick and Choose Technique to narrow your child’s commitments down to a few favourites.

Step 1: Figure out your child’s workload

This is a great way of visualising the extent of your child’s extra-curricular commitments – if you’re doing one a night it might not have sunk in just how busy she is. Ask your child fetch one important item connected with each activity, tutorial, hobby or sport they do – for example, if your son plays football, he can use the ball or his boots; if your daughter is playing tennis, she could fetch her racket. Get them to make a pile of the items and then start giving them each separate item to hold. At some point they’ll be overloaded and run out of arm space – a great metaphor for just how overloaded their schedules are.

Step 2: Decide what’s do-able

Come to an agreement on how many activities you and your child can reasonably manage across a week, with at least one afternoon and evening of family down-time.

Step 3: Give your child a voice

Let your child pick which activities she wants to keep doing – you may find she has long-hated some of them and is only too pleased to give them up!

Step 4: Have your own say

For each activity your child picks, you get to pick one too – this should ensure the activities aren’t all weighted in one direction (for example, a range of sports without any more academic choices to provide a balanced range).


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