Helpful Tips


Below are numerous topics that may be of concern as your child goes through the elementary years. You will find strategies and articles about each of the topics. As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child!

ADD/ADHD

ADD/ADHD Parenting Tips

4 Ways to Help Your Child Focus

There are many ways parents can help a child exhibiting symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder such as:

    • Providing consistency by following predictable routines for getting ready for school, homework, play, bedtime, etc.
    • Model and practice appropriate organizational skills and help your child maintain their organizational systems
    • Help your child use large monthly calendars for planning after-school activities and when tests and assignments occur
    • Use timers as a visual reminder for your child when they need to complete a task
    • Give specific, concise directions to your child in positive ways (phrase directions as what do you want to happen rather than what you don't want to happen)
    • Help practice problem solving skills with your child
    • Give your child a chance to practice using appropriate social skills
    • Help your child make healthy food choices
    • Use encouragement and positive reinforcement

Anger Management

Taking Charge of Anger for Kids

Learning to manage anger is an important life skill that needs to be taught to and practiced by all students. Discussing and modeling appropriate ways you as parents handle anger is a great way to help kids manage their own anger. There are many ways you can practice managing anger with your child, including:

    • Take a break (moving away from what makes you angry)
    • Do a physical activity (shoot hoops, do jumping jacks, or run the track)
    • Take deep breaths
    • Count to 10
    • Squish Play-Doh
    • Color your feelings
    • Write your feelings in a journal entry, story, or poem
    • Read a quiet book to yourself (When Sophie Gets Angry is a good one!)
    • Positive self-talk (I can control my anger...)

Anxiety

"What to Do and What Not to Do"

"Helping Your Anxious Child"

 

It is normal for every person to have some amount of anxiety from time to time, but when anxiety begins affecting your child's school and home functioning, there are many things you can do to help your child including:

    • Listen to your child's worries and fears and remind them that they are not alone and that other kids have worries too
    • Help children address their concerns and if they are not realistic, help them see the truth
    • Help your child gradually ease into new situations that may cause anxiety and provide encouragement when they are in these situations
    • Practice relaxing including deep breathing, counting to 10, visualizations (taking a pretend field trip to the relaxing beach or a peaceful meadow), and listening to calming music
    • Encourage structured play dates or extracurricular activities if your child has an anxious temperament
    • Promote your child's independence and build on their strengths

Conflict Resolution

Conflicts are a part of our lives every single day and because of this, we want our students to develop conflict resolution skills to help in these situations. There are many choices your child can make when in conflict in order to gain a win-win solution. You can help your child role play and decide when to use the following choices when in conflict:

    • Talk it out (use an inside voice)
    • Say "Please stop"
    • Walk away and stay away
    • Ignore...don't react
    • Cool off (count to 10, take deep breaths)
    • Say "I'm sorry"
    • Share or take turns
    • Use an I-message (I feel ____ when ____ and I need ____.)
    • Have a Peer Mediation

Developing Self-Esteem

Developing Self-Esteem

Every parent wants a happy, healthy child with a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. Here are some ways parents can support and grow their child's self-esteem:

    • Choose your words carefully and make sure to provide encouragement for your child
    • Model positive self-esteem and positive self-talk
    • Create a positive home environment where students feel safe and loved
    • Allow your child to become involved in cooperative activities such as volunteering for the good of others in order to feel good about themselves
    • Help your child give others compliments and make others feel good in order to trigger positive feelings in themselves

Divorce/Separation

Children and Divorce

Because lots of things will be changing in your child's life, try to keep things as consistent as possible for your child; routines = stability = safety. Other ways to assist your child include:

    • Listen to your child's feelings and make sure they know it's okay to share their feelings
    • Refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your child
    • Allow kids to only have to worry about "kid worries"
    • When kids ask questions, tell the truth in age appropriate ways
    • Make sure your child is not the "middle man"
    • Remind your child that he or she is very loved and never has to choose one parent over the other

Grief and Loss

Losing a loved one can be extremely hard for individuals of any age. Below are a few ways you as parents can support your children through this difficult time.

    • Understand that children cope with death differently and may have a range of reactions (including emotional shock, regression, acting out and explosive emotions, and questioning) depending on their developmental level
    • Answer your child's questions and help them understand what happened with truthful, developmentally appropriate responses
    • Allow children to grieve and tell their story, listen and validate their feelings, and show extra love and care
    • Understand that grief is a process and allow it to happen as the child needs
    • Realize that as children move into new developmental stages, they begin to understand the loss in a new way and may need extra support
    • Be aware of your own need to grieve as a parent; adults who get help working through their grief are much more able to help their child through the grieving process

Homework Hints

Homework Tips

To help ensure your child finds success with homework, there are many things you can do to help! In addition to modeling getting your own work done in a timely fashion and modeling organization, you can help children in many other ways such as:

    • Allow your child to re-energize themselves after school by taking a break, having a snack, or playing a game before beginning homework
    • Create a routine for homework each night using the same time and place each day
    • Encourage children to use planners to stay organized with assignments
    • Have a set place for homework like a big desk with all necessary materials available such as pencils, paper, books, and calculators; make sure the area is free of distractions
    • Sometimes a break may help with concentration during homework time

Making Friends

Helping Children Make Friends

Every parent wants their child to have friends, and if this is an area your child needs help with, there are many things you can do to help, including:

    • Give your child many chances for socialization, including joining an after school club or an extra-curricular activity
    • Schedule play dates with friends from the neighborhood or friends from school
    • Role play meeting a new child with your child, greeting each other in a friendly way, and making conversation
    • Practice partaking in conversation with your child and other social skills
    • Model for your child how to be a good friend and make a friend

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