How to Talk to Your Parents If You're Overwhelmed by Your Busy Schedule

Maintaining perfect grades, a long list of extracurriculars and a healthy social life is much easier said than done.

Sometimes, we overcommit at the beginning of the school year, only to find ourselves totally overwhelmed by all we've taken on. When that time comes, it's usually a good idea to drop a thing or two. That gets trickier when your parents expect you to be able to do everything, and do it flawlessly.

If you're not sure how to talk to your family about lessening your workload when you're feeling overwhelmed with school, follow these steps to find out how to get prepared.

Identify Your Problem Areas

First off, you should identify the areas you're struggling with and see if there's anything you can do to address them.  Try mapping out your schedule and breaking down how much time you devote to specific classes and activities, and highlight any areas that cause you stress. Be realistic about how much time you should dedicate to important recovery periods like sleep, breaks and mealtimes, and try to identify what you must do, what you'd love to be able to do, and what can go.


(Gravity Falls via Disney XD)


Figure Out Some Solutions and Alternatives

As much as you might like to, you can't just drop out of all of your tough classes because they're too hard. Instead, it can be helpful to come up with alternate versions of your schedule that would work better for you. Sometimes, the solution will be simple as dropping a class you're not ready for, or a school club that's too much of a commitment. Other times, that'll mean quitting an activity you enjoy because you simply need more time to focus on the required class that's giving you trouble.

It can also be helpful to see if you can chat with a school counselor about your choices before bringing them to your parents. Maybe you need to move into a standard class instead of the AP or honors class you're taking. Other times there will be a different class you can take to get the credits you need. The better you arm yourself with options, the better your chances of compromising with your parents.


Write Things Down

If you can get nervous or forgetful about talking top your parents about important issues, it can be helpful to have things written down. It's also good to have all the evidence written down on paper for easy reference. If your current schedule would require the day to be 28 hours to pull off properly, that's pretty compelling evidence. Keep your alternate, more manageable schedules nearby so you can easily show them off.

Understand the pros and cons of what you want to do with your schedule, and if you can anticipate any arguments your parents are going to have against it, write down your counterpoints and back them up with evidence.  Think about how you could personally benefit, both emotionally and academically, from lightening your workload. Being prepared in this way also shows your parents that you're serious about wanting to make a change.

SpongeBob SquarePants worried while writing an essay

(SpongeBob SquarePants via Nickelodeon)


Pick the Right Time and Place to Discuss

If you're going to make a case for yourself, you want to start by catching your parents at the right time. While you don't want to sit on things forever, you probably don't want to bring them up while they're already frustrated or too busy to pay attention to you. Try to catch them when they're in a good mood and when they have plenty of time to talk without distractions, such as during a drive in the car, or when they're sitting around at home. Maybe you have a parent who you think will be more sympathetic to your cause, so you want to have a more private chat with either your mom or dad first. Timing can be critical, so don't ignore it.


Present Your Argument

Using what you've written down, make your case and try to present the strongest argument possible. If you're presenting options, it can be smart to start by asking for more freedom than you actually want or need. That way, when your parents turn down that option, you can walk back from it and your "compromise" can actually be closer to what you wanted in the first place.

It's also important to be honest as you communicate the negative impact that being too busy is having on you. Be specific about how it affects you and prevents you from succeeding. It's also important to try to sound mature, respectful and understanding. Whining or trying to be emotionally manipulative won't help your case. Also be willing to listen. Communication goes both ways, and you'll get a better outcome if you're able to hear out your parents' concerns and present a solution that addresses them.


(DuckTales via Disney XD)


Can't get away from your parents? Click HERE for ways to deal with parents who micromanage you.