Play or work first? How to avoid a sore throat!

Well this can be a tough one for parents especially when kids have had a long grueling week. Our children are master negotiators so watch out for the charm. Cognitively it is not easy for a child to go from watching tv and playing video games so it’s work first for sure.

Executive management skills are still being developed in our young ones and teens for that matter. For most there is always later, a few more minutes, after the next one. When it’s time to do the work, they are one of two things, tired or hungry dipped in irritable.

Solution, get them there own calendar and for your own sanity make it a digital one with, you guessed it an alarm. For your kids through middle school they can most likely get all the work done in one sitting. Friday should be the day, they will be okay. Avoiding any plans that affects the ability to complete the work first may spiral quickly on the weekend So if they are not done yet it can wait on most occasions. Quick list of pointers:

  • Be available for planning in the beginning of implementing this technique of its new to you.
  • Build up to independent work as skills are built. Discuss strategies before beginning the task and all tools are nearby.
  • Get a google home or Alexa for quick spelling, dictionary definitions, math concepts and general information.
  • The quicker they get to independence the quicker their confidence builds.
  • Simple concept should be held to like laws: expressing thought with a beginning middle and end, formulation of a list, read the problem loosely, then again line by line putting together a framework of strategies to be applied.
  • 25min segments of work with 5-10mins apart works. No more than 2 -3 sets for middle and no 90mins of 25min total sets for HS and beyond.
  • Kids with Learning differences can be scaled from 7min segments with 3 min breaks adding to 30mins. Progress with the scaling as the child accomplishes or better yet feel as though there winning. This build the necessary confidence for independence because they can spend an entire day of school feeling less than due to expectations and pace. Belief in themselves should be the main focus before any learning can even begin.
  • Leave some time on the weekend for solving problem in their world. (Creative and inventing) This creative ability that we all have gets zapped away by consumption. It is a muscle that atrophies and lies dormant until used again.

In closing, our job as parents are to guide them through a sort of controlled exposure that allows our children to encounter resistance and overcome with the reassurance that we are there when needed. Don’t rescue them when they don’t need it especially when you know the challenge that sits in front of them will not harm them but make them better. Trust your instincts!

One more thing, they are mini versions of us. Do not critique the flaws, teach how to overcome the areas we want them to better and speak life into their capabilities. This slaws that giant that feels like you have passed to them. Recognize comforting the things they fear that they shouldn’t but because it’s still our battle we give a pass. You can model your efforts to overcome the fear. Don’t okay it but don’t ignore it either.

Thank you again for reading.


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