We’ve just begun the third week of the school. Here are some tips to help your child at school, and ensure you’ve got your family ship headed in the right direction.
- Down-time before homework: I recommend giving your child down-time before tackling any homework. It’s likely that he has worked hard to keep his cool all day – no one should be required to hit the books upon arriving home. I’m all for letting kids do exactly what they feel like for a limited period of time. Yes, that includes screen time.
- Empty the backpack together: Depending on your child’s age/stage, it may be a good idea to involve your child in emptying his backpack, making this a daily routine. Rather than doing it yourself, looking at forms together will encourage your child to take some ownership and possibly even encourage some “bonus” dialogue about school. As parents, we can’t get enough of this!
- Address any challenges with your child’s teacher pronto!: If your child has expressed frustration over his teacher, classmates, or recess – address it right away. It’s tempting to brush such challenges off, attributing them to the adjustment period. However, early challenges, if not addressed with sensitivity and in a skilled manner can turn into bigger challenges, which may hinder your child’s enjoyment and progress at school. Need another reason? Reaching out to your child’s teacher will let him/her know that you trust your child’s judgement, and mean business. Any teacher worth her salt will appreciate knowing about your child’s struggles!
- Make the bed time and morning routine as calm as possible: Do what you can to ensure that evenings and mornings are calm and as “chaos-free” as possible. It’s wise to establish a routine with your partner, so the “to-do’s” are divvied up (agree on who’s doing bath-time and reading, breakfast/lunch etc.) If you and your partner are scrambling or fussing about who’s doing what, it will surely rub off on your kids! Make sure that you have some favoured snacks and lunch ingredients on hand to avoid a last minute rush.
- Plan some snuggle time – and just snuggle!: This may sound ridiculous, but it’s true that we rarely just “hang out or snuggle” with our kids without asking something from them. If your child is distressed in the evening, a few minutes of nothing but love can do wonders. (try not to “fix” things or minimize his concern as he is talking – empathizing on the other hand is very effective and helps your child feel “heard.” “I know bud… it’s hard sometimes…”) If you have your snuggle time right before you turn your child’s light off, make your love the focal point. A nice back-scratch or a favourite song, and some comforting and loving words are usually all your child needs to nod off knowing they’re loved to the moon and back.
- Remember, you know your child best: If you speak to your child’s teacher and address any “bumps” in the road, and continue to see signs of concern, don’t ignore it. You know your child better than anyone else. In addition to investigating further at school, step back and examine the bigger picture. Is there anything else going on at home that may be upsetting your child? Is there something going on at work that may be bothering you? (It’s common for kids to pick up on their parents’ anxiety. If this is the case – what do you need to do for YOU? Trust me here… looking after yourself is as beneficial as looking after your kids!) Finally, ask your child. Sometimes, we ignore the fact that our kids can tell us exactly what we want to know!
Struggling at home? Six reasons you should consider parent training:
“Parent Training is an essential component of a comprehensive intervention program for children with ASD.” Michigan State Autism Research Lab Newsletter, Winter 2013.
It’s no secret that I’m an avid supporter of parent training for families affected by ASD. Research now indicates that parent training is very powerful indeed! I’m the parent of a teen (now 18, diagnosed at 5) and can’t imagine where I’d be if I hadn’t engaged in parent training myself. Here are 6 good reasons why you should contact me to discuss parent training.
- As your ASD child’s parent, in order to enjoy quality of life (and you can) you must feel competent. Learning to parent proactively can shift your life – and your child’s future, no matter how challenging life may be now. Even better – it’s never too late!
- Relying solely on therapy for your child will not impact your skills, your ability to cope at home or your ability to further your child’s development. The support you will receive during parent coaching will bolster your ability to manage and make positive changes.
- You love your child more than anyone! Don’t you want to be able to connect emotionally and get to the “root” of the challenges? (and you can!)
- Your child must learn to be happy living with limits that YOU set. Contrary to popular belief, kids with ASD are more than capable of living happily within reasonable and firm limits. We all need boundaries! No matter your circumstances, positive change is possible.
- I am the only ICF Certified Professional Coach, specializing in ASD/RDI in Canada. I have the experience and track record to help you achieve your family’s goals.
- You can work with me from a distance! Yes, thanks to technology, we don’t need to live in the same city or even the same country!
To arrange a time to discuss your challenges and goals and to learn more about how I can help you, click the button below to send me an email!