For many families, homework time is a struggle. And in an era of digital distraction, it is only getting tougher. Here are some hacks to help your kids concentrate. Zero judgement if you use them on yourself, too.
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Listen to me, a professional writer: School and university teach you bad writing habits. One of those bad habits is padding out your work to reach a minimum page count. Anything you do to “cheat” at your page count, by making less text look like more, is an act of noble rebellion. And the new font Times Newer Roman is an excellent, hard-to-detect tool for padding.
When kids are between two and four, they're bubbling with questions — preschool children ask their parents an average of 100 questions a day. (My daughter seems to ask this many on the drive to school — How do the cars stay in the lines? Who makes the lights change colours? Why don't they make a wall so the bicycles can't get hit? Why do motorcycles get to go in front of us? She is very much into the inner-workings of street traffic these days.)
Sure, you can tell your kid to bathe regularly, to never be late, to eat balanced meals, to thank customer service employees, to be a pure and utter delight. But you might just sound like a flight attendant announcing the aeroplane safety procedures with a broken microphone. To get kids to really think about their actions and make more thoughtful choices, one teacher shares this psychological technique: Have them think about how they can behave badly.
Bullies can make our lives difficult at any age - even when you're an adult - but you don't have to sit by and take undeserved punishment from someone bigger, louder or meaner than you. Here are a few approaches you can take.
It's an annual tradition for parents all across the country. The Christmas holidays start to wind down. They get a letter from school about their student's enrolment. They start seeing hints of "back to school" at the store. The kids are dressed in clothes that are almost too small and worn from a summer of play. It's time to start thinking about going back to school.
While going over the illness section of the handbook at my daughter's preschool orientation, the director told parents, "If we made every kid with a runny nose stay home, we'd have no children here." Kids get sick a lot and not every sniffle requires you to take a day off from work to nurse them back to health. But it can be tough to gauge whether your kid is too sick to go to school, and it often comes down to a judgment call.
Dropping off a young child at day care or preschool can be rough. There may be protests and wailing. Your kid may latch onto your leg for dear life. When my daughter started going to day care when she was one and a half, she cried every day for the first six weeks. The teachers were great, and I knew she was safe and cared for, but I ached seeing her so sad.
Helping with homework is part of everyday life once your kid hits school age. For the first couple of years it isn't hard stuff, but you know that one day your kid will have an assignment that stumps them and you. Luckily, you have other options besides furtively googling the answer while your kid isn't looking.
You have problems, I have advice. This advice isn't sugar-coated -- in fact, it's sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.