The holidays are about traditions. Some holiday traditions are generic and some are unique to the family, some are old and some new. At some point, the job of passing on these traditions shifts from the grandparents, to parents of young children. It’s not discussed, it just happens that way. Family traditions need repetition in order to carry on, much like good habits need repetition to stick. In our half Jewish family, we do a great job with the traditions surrounding Christmas, but we are lousy about lighting the menorah at Hanukkah. This year we only remembered the first day, shame on us. Actually, shame on my husband and me, because we need to be the ones to carry out these traditions so that they become ingrained in our children’s experience of the holidays. It’s that whole lead by example thing. Something else the kids won’t continue, if we don’t, and that is to properly thank their relatives for gifts received.
The day our children make their first scribbles with a crayon we begin collecting and storing their art and other keepsakes. Beginning in preschool the volume of children’s crafts, art projects and first handwriting efforts sent home increases dramatically. By elementary school, your child’s keepsakes can start to become overwhelming.
We recommend storing children’s keepsakes in a clear plastic file box. The Container Store has a great extra-large file tote box. Label the tote box with your child’s name and create a file folder for each grade, starting with preschool. These files will give you a year by year record for your child making it easy to pick out what you would like to include in a scrapbook.
Would you like your children to make their own school lunches? A school lunch packing station makes it super easy for your child to take on this responsibility. Start with designating space in your pantry and fridge. A pantry shelf that is eye level for your children is the best choice. Store your child’s lunch box and water bottle near the lunch packing station. In a small labeled bin store your child’s favorite school snacks. Next to that store a labeled bin with napkins, forks/spoons, plastic storage containers and baggies.
August is here and that means the beginning of the school year is just around the corner. You are probably already submitting school forms, buying school supplies and clothes. Help your student get a head start toward being able to own their responsibilities with these invaluable tips from organizing consultant, coach and ADHD specialist Leslie Josel.
Leslie notes that children are capable of managing responsibilities depending on their “brain” age, not necessarily on their “chronological” age. Therefore, we cannot expect that at age X all children will be capable of mastering the same tasks. Leslie Josel works with the parents and with the children who struggle with learning how to own their responsibilities. Leslie guides the parents toward raising children who are problem solvers not just direction followers.
My son (who has ADHD) didn’t want to go to the end of school beach party with all his friends. The last day of school assembly and all the end-of-year excitement just wore him out. HE JUST WANTED TO GO HOME. I was torn. He would not see many of his friends next year because they were attending different middle schools. I wanted to enjoy the festivities with the other 5th grade moms. He’ll have fun once we get there, I thought to myself. But to the contrary, my son had been more irritable and anxious lately. He’d had trouble falling asleep. He was argumentative and he picked fights more than usual.
We did not attend the beach party that day. Transitions are tough for kids with ADHD. The end of the school year, moving up to middle school are both huge transitions. My son knew he’d had enough and I am proud of his self-awareness. We went home. A couple of hours later that day, he was bored (of course!) and asked for a playdate (with someone who had gone to the party and was still there). Sigh.
Parenting ADHD kids is tricky terrain in the best of times.
Celebrate the end of the school year and take advantage of this transition period to purge unwanted items, donate old toys, and make your child’s bedroom a welcoming uncluttered environment this summer. Talk to your child and explain that as a reward for completing a successful school year, you would like to help make their bedroom a really nice place for them this summer.
The school year is over! Your child is thrilled about the start of summer vacation. Before it’s forgotten about, follow these 5 easy steps to clean out the backpack and organize all the art and school projects that have come home. The end of the school year is one of the best times to clean out the school year detritus and organize your child’s keepsakes.
All moms know that as soon as everyone gets used to the family routine or schedule, the schedule changes. For families with school aged children, perhaps the most abrupt change comes with the end of the school year. The school year hums along one minute, busy as usual, and then all of the sudden it’s June! The last few weeks of the school year are a flurry of projects, exams, end of year parties, and graduations, and then abruptly the school year is over, and the children are home with nothing to do. I can just about count the minutes before someone in our house says, “I’m bored…”
If you didn’t spend the month of February planning vacations, summer camps and enrichment activities for your children’s summer don’t despair! There is time yet to establish a summer routine that will work for you and your children.
Some families start the summer by brainstorming a list of activities, both indoor and outdoor. They post the list in a public spot in their house. Periodically, one member of the family chooses an activity they would like to do. Maybe your son wants to go bowling and chooses that as his special outing one week. Maybe your daughter wants to go to the driving range and hit some golf balls. Maybe you really want to take your children to the art museum or on a hike. Maybe your toddler would like everyone to go to the zoo. Everyone can have a turn to do something they like and hopefully you’ll have more buy-in when it’s your turn to pick.
Keeping a summer readiness bag ready for day trips or even a quick outing to the park can save time when trying to get out the door. Backpack or beach bag should include an extra bottle of sunscreen, hats, mini first aid kit (Neosporin, band-aids, wet wipes etc…) and extra diapers. Buy a case of bottled waters to keep in the trunk of the car for emergencies, also a waterproof picnic style blanket and extra towels can be stored in the trunk for impromptu trip to the beach. Keeping an extra set of clothes in the car can be handy if children’s clothes get wet or dirty while having fun!