Today, the boys started their first day of school. Christopher is in 2nd grade and David is in 1st grade. It’s also the first day to start some new parenting habits. I love my kids very much and so I try to reflect on what I think I’m doing well and where I can improve.
The After School Routine
I need to work on the after school routine. Here’s one issue of two (or three…we’ll see) that I’m trying to address.
Issue 1: The “Rut” Hours I’m a morning/midday person. It’s when I’m most energized and ready to go. I get up early before everyone is awake and I get prepped for the day. When 3pm hits, I get sleepy and feel drained. I need the energy at this time because I’m picking up the kids and have to ask them how their day went and need to be alert. One thing I may do if I’m really drained is take the kids to the college track and field and exercise for 30 min, running a 5k and doing stairs. I know this will wake me up and get going again. The track is also great because I can run and the kids can play around and have fun. Any other suggestions you may have for the loss of energy would be much appreciated (and please…no red bull or energy drink suggestions).
Issue 2: What’s realistic for a 6 and 7 year old? When we’re getting home, what can the 3-6pm routine look like? I can’t and won’t expect them to be doing homework as they get home. Besides, they don’t have a lot of it. I would think they could rest for one hour or so and then at 4:30pm, the boys could do homework and get ready for dinner. From dinner time to bed time, our routine is good. It’s just that 3-6pm rut. I’m also thinking of getting them into some form of weekly sport but they have piano lessons and I don’t want to overburden them with activities. I’d rather they focus on piano lessons and have some time for them to play in the park or ride their bikes. Again, suggestions please for what is realistic during the “rut” hours.
Issue 3: Coaching instead of doing it for them I’m reading this book from John Gottman on raising emotionally intelligent children. I’m trying to figure out how to get the boys to start “owning” their homework and telling me what they need from me. I’m not sure if it’s unrealistic but, already today, I’ve been asking the boys, “So, do you have homework? Will you teach me what you’re doing for homework? When do you think you will be working on it? When is it due?” And then I reiterate to them I won’t be bugging them about their homework. I’m just going to ask questions in a way where they have to think about their work. If they don’t do their homework on their own, I’ll obviously have to step in but there will be consequences of some sorts. That’s my thinking right now. I want them to start learning how to think on their own and take responsibility for their homework. It’s too easy for me to demand this from them. My job is to somehow coach/parent them in way where I’m influencing them to think/feel through their decision-making. Any suggestions, thoughts, feedback, concerns? 🙂
Keep us in prayer. We’re trying to figure out how to do this parenting deal. Also, if you have any good books, blogs or experiences, PLEASE SHARE!!!