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5 Things Your Child Needs to Know Before School Starts

5 Things Your Child Needs to Know Before School Starts

1. New Beginnings: First and foremost students need to understand that each year is a brand new start. Yes, it is easy to fall back into old habits but if last year did not go the way you or your child wanted it to, then you both have the opportunity to start fresh. A self-fulfilling prophecy has been defined by www.businessdirectory.com as, “Any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or people that may affect a person’s behavior toward them in a manner that causes those expectations to be fulfilled. In other words, causing something to happen by believing it will come true.” This is not what we want to see happen. Thinking about your approach to homework difficulties before they arise and being aware of what caused you and/or them to get frustrated is a good start. What else was going on at the time? Did you find you were trying to rush your tween/teen to keep them moving on your own schedule? Were they so involved in after school programs that they “ran” from one thing to the next with no time to themselves? Were your expectations really realistic? Or were you just assuming that it, “shouldn’t take that long?” Your child is NOT you. They need above all else to know they are loved and that this year is truly a new beginning. 2. Mindset: Kids also need to know they are capable of doing anything they put their minds to. It is okay to fail provided they learn from that and figure out what to do to improve. The learning is more important than the grade. Let me repeat that, the learning is more important than the...
What Did You Learn Last Year?

What Did You Learn Last Year?

Now is the time to review the last school year with your child and use that knowledge for the upcoming year. You’re looking for the “best practices” – those things that worked really well both at home and at school and that you would like to see continue next year. If your child has ADHD do you think the teacher clearly understood ADHD and were they helpful in providing strategies for school and home? What were the skills the teacher had that you feel benefitted your child? Good teachers have excellent class management strategies, and are organized so that there is little “down time” in between activities. Teachers are flexible and use positive rather than negative reinforcements. They encourage and stimulate your child’s creative abilities. Teachers that do not understand the neurobiology of ADHD tend to have the opposite effect on children – they dislike school, do poorly and it becomes a struggle all year long. First, how would you rate this year on a scale of one to five? How would your child rate it? What would make it a five? Think about those things and create your own list together to use for the new school year. Here are some ideas to get you started. Homework strategies: Do your child’s grades correspond to the amount of time they spent on homework? Did they work right up until bedtime? Did they “multitask” between homework and Facebook? How much is too much time? (Most towns go by the 10 minute per grade rule – check the handbook) Routines: Would you give yourself an A or an F? Updating a...
Goal Setting for Teens III

Goal Setting for Teens III

Now that we have determined how to set a SMART goal(please see previous posts) it is time to take it to the next level and actually design a plan or strategy for achieving it. Take a look at your goal, if you have followed the steps in the previous two posts then your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time specific. Next, determine what needs to be done to attain that goal by breaking it down into actionable steps. I use a big blank piece of paper and just start writing all the things I feel are involved in that goal. As you are brainstorming this part you’ll notice that certain steps seem to go together, write them in the same area of the paper. You’ll end up with a “mind map” or “web” with key steps grouped together. Make sure to break each idea down until it is a specific step. Going back to our example of raising a grade to an 83%, we can see that a step such as, “studying more” is much too general. Break it down until you can get to the specifics involved (it helps to answer who, what, where, when, why and how questions). Is your goal still realistic and attainable given all these steps? Now before we go further, take a look at what you have written down. Do you see any potential obstacles, roadblocks or challenges that could occur to stop you from achieving your goal? If you can foresee the obstacles before they occur you can design strategies to overcome them before they happen. Knowing your plan if “x”...