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Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Look for patterns in schedule problems.

What you can do

Observe your child in a variety of activities or settings such as getting ready in the morning or switching from downtime to homework time.

Pick a time period or activity and take notes on what you’re seeing every day for two weeks. Look for patterns. Doing this will help you pinpoint problem areas. Then talk with your child about the problem and work on a solution together.

What you can say

“Jacob, I noticed this week that you’re having a difficult time after school switching from playing your new video game to starting your homework. How about I come out and remind you 15 minutes before you need to wind up your game? Then I’ll call you in another 10 minutes so you can have time to start powering down. Do you think that would make it easier? Let’s try that today and see if it helps you finish up your game and begin managing your homework.”

Why this will help

The more you understand your child’s behaviors, the more you’ll be able to tailor strategies to help your child change those behaviors. Keeping a journal can help you figure out which strategies are working and under what conditions.

A journal is also useful when you’re talking with your partner or sharing information with teachers or other professionals.

Explore more information on how to observe your child and how to organize your notes.

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