Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Expect resistance as well as mistakes.

What you can do

Be patient. Expect some resistance to your efforts to make daily routines and time management go more smoothly for your child. Remember that the developmental “job” of tweens and teens is to become more independent. This means becoming less dependent on parents for solutions.

Help your child understand that it’s not easy to make transitions and manage time effectively and that he’s likely to do these things badly at times. Talk about strategies that worked for your child in the past. Encourage him to apply those same strategies in other situations. The way you approach this kind of problem-solving with your child is crucial.

What you can say

“Jacob, I noticed that getting your homework started after dinner is kind of a hassle. Is there something we could do differently together to make that easier?”

“I know you don’t want me coming in and asking you about this every five minutes. Would it be better if I sent you a text message? Do you think something like that would help you get started?”

Why this will help

Don’t expect miracles right away. It’s also important that you stick to a routine yourself. Predictable responses from you will help your child learn to manage time and tasks more consistently. Practice and lots of positive reinforcement will help too. These things are particularly true for kids who have trouble paying attention or generalizing information.

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