1. Plan ahead for the week. By being pro-active, parents can prevent conflict from arising during the week when it comes to managing kids and schedules. Have long-term conversations, such as what goals do we want to set this year, as well as short-term, such as how are we going to manage the morning routine? Create a visual schedule on a white board to help keep the whole family informed.
2. Create a homework contract. Parents are responsible for making sure kids have time and space to do their work. A homework contract should outline when the child will do their work, after a snack or before sports practices, to ensure it gets done and set a plan in place! Creating an organized environment will help keep them on task and create less stress.
3. Make time for play. Unstructured playtime, downtime and family time is healthy to incorporate into your family’s schedule. While technology can occasionally be a part of it, the idea is that these are moments when the family is not plugged in or a part of an organized event.
4. Keep papers organized. Create an action box (for important papers that need immediate attention) and reference files (for special papers you want to keep) before the year starts for important school papers from throughout the year. Don’t decide which ones to toss or keep yet, accumulate them all throughout the year and over the summer you can sort back through and decide.
5. Snack station prepared. Before they come rushing into the door to eat everything in sight, create a snack station they can pick from of things you approve to avoid spoiling their dinner appetite.