Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Post a daily schedule.

What you can do

Post your child’s daily schedule on his bathroom mirror. Beside each entry include the time he’s expected to start and stop each activity. For example, a schedule of his morning routine could include “wake up 6:15–6:30,” “morning hygiene 6:30–6:45” and “breakfast 6:45–7:00.”

If your child has a cell phone or laptop, use the calendar feature on these devices. This feature can send your child reminders about when different activities start and stop.

What you can say

“Jacob, don’t forget to look at your daily chart. Which step should you be on right now?”

“Jacob, is the chart we set up working for you? Should we change some things since you’ve been using it for a few weeks? Or is what we’ve got here still OK?”

Why this will help

A daily chart helps tweens and teens remember daily routines and stick to them. Providing structure and predictability is especially important for kids with attention issues, who can lose focus easily. Schedules, to-do lists and electronic reminders can help them get back on track.

Giving your child a clear sense of what he’s expected to do throughout the day may ease his anxiety and frustration about upcoming transitions. Using visual or digital reminders can also help your child feel more in control and less dependent on you.

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