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3 Steps to School
Parenting Power Admin August 30, 2017 No Comments

3 Steps to School

You know it is coming…

If you listen very carefully, you can hear the opening notes of the theme from Jaws playing in the back of your mind. Da…da. Da….da. Da.da.Da.da. Dadadada.

The notes are getting closer together! The tension builds. The shark is about to strike!

School is almost here.

That means that this is the time to start having those conversations. You know the ones we mean: sleep, homework, guitar practice, chores, etc….

The good news? There is always enough time for these conversations and planning them now means that you are setting everyone up for success.

Step One
Have these conversations with yourself first. Figure out exactly what you expect. Talk with your co-parent and get the adults on the same page. Know what is the most important to your family and where you are going to focus your energies.

Step Two
Call a family meeting (or meet one on one with each of your kids) and get started.

Don’t do all the talking. Be prepared to listen as well. Share the agenda and get your family working on what’s important. If it is important to you, you will stick to your plan and follow through.

Step Three
Pick a topic and follow one of the following agendas (or build your own)

Example 1.

Topic: Sleep

Parent: When we see you missing out on sleep, we feel frustrated because it is a struggle to get you out of bed the next morning.

Child: When you nag me to go to bed all the time, I feel like you are bossing me around and I should get to stay up later now.

Parent: What we know for sure is that you are meant to be getting 9 hours of sleep each night. How can you make that happen? Maybe we can change when you wake up? Maybe we can give you a bit more free time before bedtime?

Family works together to brainstorm ideas and find the right one.

WRITE IT DOWN – know all the details: What time is each step happening? Who’s in charge of it? What will the parents say as a cue? What are the consequences?

Example 2:

Topic: Chores

Agenda: What’s working? What’s not? How do we make it better?

Parent: Getting garbage out has been working really well. Thanks for making that happen every week. The frustrating part is that I go to throw out my garbage and no one has replaced the bag in the bin. How do we fix that?

Child: Well, if I have to get the garbage from all over the house, and get it outside, it would be nice if someone else can get a new bag? Is anyone willing to help me?

Family works together to brainstorm ideas and find the right one.

WRITE IT DOWN – know all the details: What time is each step happening? Who’s in charge of it? What will the parents say as a cue? What are the consequences?

It doesn’t have to be one big long meeting. Some families love a weekly meeting, other families only meet when there is an issue. Figure out what works for your family and get it happening. These rituals help our kids feel involved and that family life is predictable. It helps them to feel like they have power (the ability to effect change.) It does not leave them feeling nagged or helpless.

This week, ask yourself these questions:

What are the key areas we need to discuss before school starts?

How much sleep does my child need? (see below)

Does my child get to go to extra-curricular activities if she isn’t showing effort for school?

Does my child get to work outside of the home when he doesn’t meet the responsibilities inside the home?

What will we tell our kids about screen time for this fall?

Will we follow through?

If you are curious about what strategies you can share with your kids, we are always here to answer your questions and give you real life parenting tools.

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