We’re in the home-stretch of the summer. That means starting to panic about summer reading lists and upcoming family fights about homework. As a family therapist, I get many calls this time of year, hoping to get a plan together for a better school year. Below are 3 tips to help you and your family prepare.
Tip 1: Clearly define rules & expectations
Plan a family meeting to go over what the rules and expectations are for the new school year. Make this meeting a discussion where both children and parents are able to bring their thoughts, feelings, and opinions to the table. The clearer the rules and expectations are around school, the better everyones year will be. Here are some questions to consider:
- What are the expectations around grades?
- What are the expectations around missing an assignment?
- What are the rules around bedtime or curfew?
- Should the child have their phone in their bedroom at night?
- When will homework be done?
- What are the rules around video games?
Tip 2: Create a healthy after-school routine
Get into a good routine right away. After a long day of learning, a snack at home can cut down on those “hangry” arguments. Decide if your kids will get some “down time” immediately after school. If yes, how much time will be allowed before homework and responsibilities need to be picked up? Are parents checking homework or missed assignments daily or weekly? If your kids want to be glued to their screens, put limits on when and how much screen time can happen.
Tip 3: Use “Agile Programming”
Flexibility is essential to a good plan. While it might seem like a family has the perfect plan to prepare for a successful year, even the best plans need to be updated. I highly recommend using the method of “agile programming” to keep an eye on family progress and improve on the plan. The method of agile programming talks about the importance of communicating about what is going right and wrong. Families that use this technique regularly adapt to new problems and constantly evaluating their effectiveness in implementing solutions. Learn more about agile programming here…
The school year doesn’t have to be all fighting and crying. With practice and good communication, families can work together to successfully navigate the school year. If you or your family want help preparing for the upcoming 2018-19 school year, Chris Koniarczyk is an expert in Denver, CO that works specifically with this issue. Click here to schedule a free in-person consultation to see if Christopher John Counseling would be a good fit for you.