School is just around the corner, and we all know the madness and chaos that accompanies mornings before school. The following tips and tricks are here to help you create more relaxing mornings that are stress free. Every child is different, so some of these techniques may work, while others may prove to be unsuccessful. If one doesn’t work, then try another. The ultimate goal is to find what works best for your family, and in the process, just remember that success is a learning experience!
Together, you and your child can make a fun chart that illuminates the necessary tasks to be completed prior to heading out the door. Be sure to laminate the chart once finished and place it in a convenient location with an erasable pen. When your children mark off finished tasks, they will not only feel satisfaction, but they will also gain the following important life skills:
Making a nighttime chart may also help your child get to bed on time, ensuring that he gets plenty of rest to be successful and alert at school the next day!
By finding a solution that works for everyone in the family, you are showing your kids that their needs matter to you, which in turn, builds trust and respect rather than fear. If you find that your kids need additional motivation, ask simple questions, like what’s next on their task list. This will help move them along through their checklist without pestering or nagging them. As they get better at completing their tasks, begin reducing your level of involvement (i.e. reminders) so that they can start taking over more of the responsibility.
If your teens are having trouble managing their time and balancing homework with extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs, have them create a color coded calendar on iCal or Google Calendar. For instance, use bright red for the time they are at school; use blue for sports related activities; use orange for community service activities; etc. Make sure your teens mark any due dates for upcoming assignments with alerts.
Online calendars provide a visual aid for your kids so they can see where they have free time in their schedule to get work done or to spend time with friends. While it helps keep you informed as well, ultimately this helps your teens further build a sense of responsibility and independence.
It is important to affirm your children when you notice that they have made improvements. If your child is disorganized and makes even minor improvements in his/her organization, be sure to let them know what you have noticed them doing. Pointing out the positive changes you are seeing is a great way to affirm and encourage the behaviors you want them to continue and allows you to focus on the positive.
The best part about all of these tips and strategies is that you’re not only setting your kid up for success. You’re also facilitating calmer mornings for yourself and the entire family!
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