If your home is like mine, summer sure went fast and we are getting into our school-time groove. Last year, I made this back-to-school post. This year we are working on what I call “The Basics”. Doing so is helping our transition into the school year. My clients are also reporting that focusing on The Basics is helpful.
We start this process by identifying what our “Basics” are within our home culture. I’ve talked about the 3 Family Rules that I believe are helpful for all families. Kindness, Doing our Jobs, and Honesty are helpful values to teach our children and expect in our homes. Other Basics like: Getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals together, having a set homework schedule, having time to play, contributing to the home community (chores), having a hobby etc. These are what I consider basic components to a productive school year.
As you consider your “Basics” what comes to mind? What are you trying to teach your children? How are you structuring their day/evening to maximize there opportunities for success?
Every home has a different set of expectations and what is considered basic behaviors and values. Let’s teach our children that planning our day, upcoming assignments (how do you plan on doing this science project?) and evenings events are fundamental to success.
Because we are all busy, it’s easy to fall into the trap where we “fly by the seat of our pants”. There’s something to be said about going with the flow, but planning how to get to a specific outcome has been proven to be the path to success. We see this in all walks of life so let’s teach our children how important planning is. Rarely do things just fall into place on their own. Let’s teach our children to plan for success and for fun.
Planning is BASIC, so let’s teach it. What is our child going to wear tomorrow, eat at lunch and accomplish during their work-time? What do they want to do during their free time? Let’s teach disciplined living by making plans together…and then sticking with it!
Another Basic is that hard work and accomplishments are rewarded. Be it additional screen time (go here to read about suggested screen time amounts), or special activities, playtime etc, all are powerful incentives for a job well done. We all respond well to all types of rewards. Words of affirmation is also a reward that produces results. Let’s make sure that our kiddos feel noticed and rewarded for a job well done.
Lastly, another Basic concept that I believe is important is that we don’t get to “Move On” until the job is complete. Let’s combine the reward with the reality that we can’t move on until the homework is finished. Putting off work until the last minute is a basic concept that fails.
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I welcome any feedback or suggestions. I’ll still be blogging here my ideas on Children and Families.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
William Strong, LCSW
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