Kids are overscheduled, families are in a constant rush, but a few, strategic pauses in your family’s day can make a huge difference.
HELP KIDS CREATE EFFECTIVE GOOD ROUTINES
Present mornings, chores and homework to kids as problems to be solved together. Kids are more likely to stick with a plan they created themselves. Try asking, “What would your ideal morning routine look like?” or “What would a perfect homework day look like for you?” then help them come up with ways to make those visions real.
Help kids operationalise the systems they create. If it’s a plan book, talk about setting intermediary deadlines. If it’s alarms on a virtual calendar, try different sequences of alerts ahead of a due date.
Think of your role in this process like that of the training wheels on your kid’s bike. As our children get more sure of their strategies and systems, we can raise the training wheels up until they are no longer needed at all.
ENCOURAGE GOOD STUDY HABITS
Multi-tasking is a myth, especially for kids. Shut off the TV or the music: studies show that music with lyrics undermines concentration and productivity. Ask your kids what their perfect homework routine might look like. Help them create that vision. Some kids might want a break after school to blow off pent-up energy, others may want to get the homework done first so they can get on to free play. Let them choose the space, too.
LIMIT PHONES DURING HOMEWORK TIME
Phones are a distraction when they are in the room, even when they are turned off, one study shows. As ever, kids do what we do, not what we say. Work on your projects the way you’d like to see them doing their work.
PLAN FOR TECHNOLOGY USE
Have a plan in place for family tech usage. This can be around minutes, data or context. If you want family dinners and homework to be tech-free zones, agree to that ahead of time. Then sign a tech contract. Some kids respond to a signed contract you can point to for reference.
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