As a family coach, I hear parents' concerns every day regarding homework and school and sleep ... but when summer break hits, the conversations quickly turn to "How can I spend the next three months with this child without losing my mind?!"
As a mother to a child on the Autism spectrum, I get that raising children is tough even when they are in school eight hours out of the day, so the thought of having them home 24/7 is enough to make even the coolest parent explode. Below are my top ten questions from parents just like you and my tips for keeping the temperature from rising too high in your home this summer:
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1. Summer break is about releasing the stress of school, so shouldn't we let our kiddos just slack off for a while?
Children in general — and particularly, those with ASD and ADHD — thrive on schedules and predictability. So although it is fine to loosen up on the bed time and homework ... keeping to a schedule that allows them to get at least eight hours a night is essential to keep them focused. Schedules that give your kids a time of day to do chores, have screen time, feed pets, etc., will keep them much calmer and more compliant.
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2. My kids act like a bunch of wild monkies when school is out and they refuse to listen to me. What can I do?
Kids need rules and boundaries. They are much more likely to respond in the way we want them to if they know the consequences of their choices. Pushing limits and gaining control are the natural drive of kids who are between 3 and 17 years old. If they know why we are asking them to do something and they know what will happen if they do not comply, we get better cooperation. Sit down as a family and make a list of rules as well as the corresponding consequences or rewards. This process will motivate kids to do what is asked of them because they know what to expect. This allows everyone to feel valued and their opinions to be heard. When carrying out rewards and consequences, focus on the behavior, not the child. Keep reading...
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