Monthly Archives: September 2016

26Sep/16

Organizing the Disorganized Child

Organizing the Disorganized Child

Your son/daughter has been in elementary or middle school for a while and things should be flowing along smoothly at this point. Right?

Unfortunately, for many kids, this is not the case!  Papers from school might, or might not, make it into your child’s backpack.  Homework assignments that are done, seem to vanish into thin air between your kitchen table and the classroom.

Just like learning to read, learning to be organized to succeed in school, needs to be taught in small steps and reinforced regularly.  When a child first learns to read, he learns what the letters look like and sound like.  Then he learns that when you put letters together, you create new sounds and eventually words.  Many letters together in groups (words) can make a sentence, a paragraph, or even a story! 

Once we’ve taught our children to read, we don’t send them off to fend for themselves. We don’t even let them choose whether or not they want to read.  We encourage them to read, and even require it of them in school.  Our world constantly provides opportunities to read (street signs, words on food packaging, t-shirts, etc.).  And all of this happens at a stage where the brain is open to and able to learn this new skill.  Notice I said ‘stage’, not ‘age’ because this does happen at different times for different children, and that is OK!

The executive functioning of the brain, the part that acts as a personal assistant, or office manager, doesn’t fully develop in humans until they are almost 25 years old.  Our executive functions enable us to make a list, remember to look at it, and then cross things off as we complete things on that list. 

So, GIVE YOUR CHILD A LITTLE BREAK, and GIVE YOURSELF A LITTLE BREAK!

Your child’s brain is still developing!

Your child is really not mentally capable of keeping track of all of the things that he/she needs to keep track of during the school day.   Can some kids do it? Sure.  But many can’t remember all of the details without a little bit of help.

So what do you do? 

Put strategies in place. 

Just like reading, your child will get to practice certain skills on a daily basis (i.e., bringing assignments home and bringing completed homework back to school).  Many teachers will provide your child with tried and true strategies.  One example is having one duel-pocket folder for all papers.   One side is marked “HOME” and the other side is marked “SCHOOL.”  All papers coming home are put on one side and then all papers going back to school go on the other.  While this might seem obvious to you and me, it really isn’t that obvious to your child.

If you would like to learn more simple strategies to help your child succeed in school, please contact me at DrRenee@HelpingParentsParent.com

 

I will be facilitating a local in-person book club starting on September 30th: Register here.

organizing-disorganized-child

I will also be leading Evening and Online Book Groups in October: Pick your best date/time here.

05Sep/16

Happy Labor Day

HAPPY LABOR DAY

Growing up I always found it a little ironic that many people, moms included, need to “labor” on Labor Day.

To our military, safety/emergency personnel, and retail sales workers out there – thank you.  We appreciate what you do. I hope you get a Labor Day off at some point this week, even if it’s not on the official holiday.

If you are one of the fortunate ones that does not need to go out to work today, my wish for you is that you get to spend quality time with your family.  Find fun, EASY things to do so that you are not laboring as much as, or more than, your typical day.

Most kids are not typically cognizant enough to say thank you or to appreciate all you do.

But I am.  I will say THANK YOU for your kids.

Thank you for caring enough to set limits and boundaries, even when it’s hard.

Thank you for providing chores and other responsibilities to help your children learn to be successful adults.

Thank you for following through on things you’ve said you will do, even when you are not sure how you will find the strength to do so.

Thank you for all of the love, hugs, cuddles, and giggles. These fill your child’s heart with your love to hold on to when you are not physically present to do so.

I know how much work it can be raising kids, especially when they are little.

On this Labor Day, take a few moments to think about ways that you can fill your heart.  Find ways to take care of yourself so that you don’t get angry, exhausted, overwhelmed or burnt out.  Your children might not outright appreciate or thank you. In the long run, once they are out on their own, especially if they have children, they will be able to look back and recognize at least some of what you do!

If you need help finding ways to Take Care of the Caretaker (YOU), or setting limits and following through, send me an email and we’ll set up a time to talk (NO charge). 

DrRenee@HelpingParentsParent.com.