Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Make an afterschool “grab and go” spot.

What you can do

Create a special place to keep the equipment your child needs for afterschool activities, such as musical instruments or soccer uniforms. Use this designated area to separate the equipment based on which day of the week he’ll need them. The goal is to have each day’s pile ready to “grab and go.”

It might also help to post photographs in this area. For example, right above the soccer equipment, a picture of your child wearing the team uniform, shin guards and cleats will remind him of how he’s expected to look at the game.

Make sure your child returns the equipment to the designated area at the end of the day. Keep the cubbies or baskets for all afterschool gear in the same place in your house.

It’s a good idea to post a checklist next to the storage area so he can note which items have been put away. As part of your nightly routine, look at the checklist with your child. Also look inside the bin to be sure that everything he needs for the next day is where it should be.

What you can say

“Jacob, it seems to be hard for you to have to leave for an activity right after school with all the things you need. Let’s put a bin by the door for the things you will need on Mondays for karate and on Wednesdays for violin lessons.”

“OK, now let’s take a picture of what’s in the bin and we can stick it up on the wall behind the bin.”

“Let’s also make a checklist together so that when you get home from your activity, you can put the things back in the bin that you’ll need for next time. That should make it easier to just grab your things and get to the activity on time. You’ll even have time for an afterschool snack that way! Let’s try it today and see if it helps you, OK?”

Why this will help

Children who have difficulty making transitions and managing their time will benefit from having their equipment organized and stored in a consistent place.

Structure and predictability are particularly important for kids who struggle with attention issues. Posting photographs or schedules will remind your child what he needs to do and give him hints on how to do it.

227Found this helpful
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