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Back to School – Back to Routines – Back to a Hectic Pace

children at the library

For parents, the end of summer and the beginning is school can be a bittersweet experience. The positives are the kids are back in school, the typical routine that occurs 10 months out of the year has returned,and the parents don't have to figure out how to fill the kids day – camps? Day trips? Visits with friends or relatives?

However, on the flip side the schedule has returned and the juggling has begun – carpools, extra-curricular activities, managing household responsibilities, and the battle of the wills (kids, homework and projects, school involvement). Tips for Managing Schedules

1. Create a family calendar in the kitchen (the most trafficked room for everyone)

Highlight the variety of activities in different colors


Highlight each person with a different color

2. If your child gets “lost” in a room, for example the bathroom, when told to complete one task, “brush your teeth”, try creating an itemized list of the steps in the task and mount it on the wall where the task is to be completed – tedious at first, but very effective in the long run, reducing time management and confrontation issues

Tips for Communicating with Your Child When They Come Home From School

1. Avoid questions where the answer is “yes” or “no” or some other one word response.

For example: “How was your day?” Possible answer: “Fine”

2. Questions should be open-ended with options for answers.

For example: “Can you tell me what happen when you walked into the classroom this morning?” Possible answer: “I dunno, nothing special.”

3. Always be prepared for a follow-up question or rephrasing the question.

Some examples are – Tell one good thing that happened today. Can you explain that? Tell me one bad thing that happened today. Can you explain that? Tell me one person that annoyed you today. What happened that caused you to be annoyed? Tell me one person that made you happy. Can you explain what was it that made you happy? Tell me one thing that was a waste of time today. Why do you think it was a waste of time?

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