Day to day life can be crazily busy when you have school-going kids. After the school run, there’s homework, chores, cooking dinner, bathing. It’s hard to connect with your children when you are managing so many areas. So how does one make the link between school and home a positive, secure one?
CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL-HOME RELATIONSHIP WITH KIDS
Make a set time each week where the family does something together. Maintaining that special bond as a family is so important for a child’s sense of place and identity in the world. Keep your family unit strong, make it a safe place away from the busyness and stresses of school.
MAKE ONE ON ONE TIME TOGETHER
Make time for each child. Even if you have to schedule it to make it happen, do it! In all the busyness of each day, it won’t just happen by itself. One on one time keeps that relational connection healthy and alive, and is so necessary!
ESTABLISH CLEAR BOUNDARIES
Children thrive on boundaries – on the security that understood, fair boundaries bring.
Set some boundaries in your home, and keep consistent in reinforcing them. Knowing where they stand is great for kids and their security.
SET UP A ROUTINE EVERYONE FOLLOWS
Routine is king. Having a predictable routine in place is great for kids security too, as well as a good place to train children in self discipline, responsibility and independence. It is also a good way to train your children to take on chores around the home, that are age appropriate. This helps them become more independent and responsible, and helps you share the housework load as they grow older.
Chore charts are great for younger kids. Having a visual checklist of things to be done is motivating and makes jobs fun. Write up some chore charts for each member in the home, and then spend some good patient time training your children in using them effectively. Rewards are a great motivator!
Week days may be calm(ish), but sometimes weekends are a whirlwind. The less structure or expectation there is on what is to be done, the wilder kids seem to get. A great thing to do first thing on a Saturday morning, is make a list for the day, for all activities to be done. If you have young kids, you can make it in picture form. Kids will love ticking off each item, and it will keep everyone purposeful and moving in a good direction. You can time it wisely and get productive things done while, for instance, the kids play Lego or are outside. Having a list for the day gives kids a sense of direction.
If you have your kids home in the afternoons, you can do this, otherwise it’s great for weekends. Set up a time slot for each day, where each child has to be on their own in their special place, doing an activity. The quiet time will be good for them, as they get to have a quiet break away from friends and siblings and busyness, to calm down and reflect or think about the day. It’s great for mom to have a breather too, and good for the kids to learn self control and focus.
I think the ultimate goal in a home is to create a safe, secure atmosphere where kids can grow up with healthy boundaries and a deep relationship with siblings and parents. If you’re rushed and disconnected, take a break and write down what you’d like to incorporate into your daily routine in order to create an awesome space away from school.