When you talk to your children about what you expect from them this year in school, there is probably a lot on your mind! Here are some guidelines that can help us partner with your child.
1. Have the conversation on the individual level, child by child. You expect different things from your high schooler than from your preschooler!
2. Let them know how seriously you expect them to take school. Yes it is fun, and a place to see their friends everyday, but it is also their job and a serious task indeed! Remind them to listen, pay attention, show respect for others, and be serious about their learning.
3. Although you may expect very high grades, focus on expecting your child to do their best. Not everyone can get an A, but everyone can do well, and if they are doing their very best with mot tasks, they are likely to do well.
4. Have a good attitude about school and focus on making the best of it. In any situation, learning to make the best of it can really help to make the day go better for everyone, mom, dad, and child alike!
There are many ways to handle your own children once they have come home from school and think they are in trouble. Maybe the "clipped down" or were reprimanded, or sent to the office to speak with someone. Whatever the reason, children are often redirected at school, and sometimes parents are not sure how to handle it. One way is to engage in a "Behavior Restitution model" with your child.
1. Ask your child what they did wrong. Allow them to tell you all the details, and keep asking questions in a calm manner. Don't interrupt, because children are likely to stop giving information if they lose their train of thought, especially for the very young child.
2. Ask them what the consequences were. Ask them specifically if there was a consequence or if there will be one in the future. Ask them what they think should be the consequence, if they are not sure. You can phrase it like this "what if your neighbor did this? What would be his consequences? What happens when your friends break the rules". Especially if they do not know the consequences.
3. Ask them who was affected by their actions. Did they hurt someone else? Does someone else get into trouble?
4. Ask them why they broke the rules. Ask follow up questions and listen. This is the point when many children feel remorse and regret for having broken the rules.
5. Ask them what they will do differently next time. Allow them to know there are second chances and next time they can act more responsibly. Remind your child that you trust them to do the right thing next time.
We want your child to be successful in school, and that means going beyond the basics. Excelling in academic classes is important, but students also need to know how to learn, make good decisions, handle strong emotions, and get along with others.
This coming year, we'll continue using the Second Step Middle School Program, which focuses on skills and concepts that are designed to help students both in and out of school. These include:
CHECK OUT PARENTEENCONNECT.ORG!
ParenTeenConnect.org, a free website for parents and their teens created by the makers of the Second Step Program, is a great resource for middle school families. It provides expert advice and practical tools for dealing with real parent-teen issues.
GET TALKING WITH PARENTEEN CONNECT!
At ParenTeenConnect.org, you can hear from real parents and teens about the issues that cause conflict in their lives—including screen time, independence, responsibility, and communication—and get expert advice. Visit ParenTeenConnect.org at home with your child, select a topic together, and get talking!
School is not in session right now. Did you have difficulty navigating summer childcare? I know I did! and I do every summer, especially as my 13 and seven year old join different groups. The older child is old enough to stay home alone but the younger child is not. I choose to enroll them in summer day camp.
Being a working parent has many challenges, not just child care. But how to cope?
In a Harvard Business Review article, the author shared that a 2015 Pew study found 65% of working parents find work/life demands to be difficult. The core challenges of parenting are that your to-do list is never done. But getting these areas under control might help!
• Transitions– ending maternity leave, a new baby, new step-parent, summer break, new school, leaving for college. I suggest rehearsing. Do a full run-through of getting ready for the first day back at work or school or summer camp or the new sitter. Rehearsals will help you find the tough spots, how long it will reasonably take and prove to yourself that you can do this!
• Practicalities– Make doctor appointments online, automate bills, set up prescriptions well in advance....In short, become a good planner! Sit down with your to-do list and a calendar and spend 30 minutes planning. Stop putting off what you have been putting off, like registering for school or religious ed or park district sports. Get rid of commitments you don't need to keep and that don't make anyone's life better, such as an inessential meeting.
• Communication– Be as transparent as possible when you tell your spouse when and how to pick up at daycare or telling your boss you will be out of town, or telling your children you can't be home tonight. At work, be very transparent. If your daughter has a dance recital, don't sheepishly say, “I’m headed out for a few hours.” Say where you’re going and why, when you’ll be back, what you’ll do then, and your excitement for the work.
• Identity– Will you attend your son’s violin performance or an important meeting at work? are you a busy parent or a busy worker?Reframe and recast your identity as the professional working parent who puts the kids first when (fill in the blank when this fits for you)and puts work first when (fill in the blank for your own job). Don't apologize for the stands you take and be proud of taking those stands!
“A Working Parent’s Survival Guide: The Five Big Challenges – and How to Deal with Them” by Daisy Wademan Dowling in Harvard Business Review, July/August 2019 (Vol. 98, #4, p. 147-151) https://hbr.org/2019/07/a-working-parents-survival-guide
Do you want more ways to help support your child's social and emotional learning?
Parent Toolkit is a one-stop resource developed with parents in mind. It’s produced by NBC News Learn and supported by Pearson and includes information about almost every aspect of your child’s development, because they're all connected. Healthy, successful children can excel in many areas – in the classroom, on the court, and in their relationships with peers and adults. Our advice also covers important topics for navigating life after high school.
This week I had the luxury of chaperoning my own sons field trip to the zoo. One of the children in my group, assigned to me by the teacher, was starving most of the morning and admitted he did not eat breakfast. Now I know this child and the family, and I know that they are not food-insecure or ongoing tough times. so I asked him: Did you wake up late? And sure enough, he didn't eat breakfast because he had barely gotten out of bed.
We see many students each day who have not gotten enough sleep and have not eaten breakfast. Many other things might cause your student to have a bad day at school. some of those causes are:
“Your Student Is Hungry, Tired, Angry – Now What?” by Rachel Robertson and Justin Coy in Teaching Exceptional Children, May/June 2019 (Vol 51, #5, p. 361-371), available for purchase at https://bit.ly/2wBoiHf; Robertson can be reached at email@example.com.
Erin Holland is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.
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