Keeping the Peace at Home
School is starting in the next few weeks. I am having various combinations of grandkids spend the final days of summer in my home. As a parent educator and teacher, I have learned a variety of effective classroom management strategies that work well at home as well as at school. Here are my top 10:
- Make time for each child every day. Our children need time to talk and feel our affection for each of them. Young children love to talk right before bed and early in the day after they wake up. Teens love to talk at 10 p.m. or later when we are very tired and our listening skills are depleted.
- Solve ongoing conflicts by meeting with each child to discuss their feelings and to brainstorm new ways they can relate and communicate with their family and friends.
- Help your children live with the consequences of their actions. When they misbehave, have them work with you in identifying an appropriate outcome. Sometimes, children must lose a privilege for a day for acting aggressively toward a sibling. Others may need to pay or fix something they have broken.
- Drive the carpools to and from school, for sports teams, and for various after-school activities. It is amazing listening to the conversations of our kids and grandkids at different developmental milestones. The most shocking was when my teenage grandson wanted to discuss his sex education workshop with me and his friends when driving them to a track meet. I was unsure of how to respond so I kept redirecting the conversation back to what they learned and how they felt about the what they learned.
- Get to know your kids’ friends and their parents. It takes a village to raise children and my children’s friends spent hours at each home throughout the school year. The parents shared childcare even when the kids gave each other various viruses.
- Celebrate life and various milestone events. These memorable occasions will stay with your children for years.
- Take family vacations and capture with photos. Once again, these are cherished memories for life.
- Engage children in completing chores around the house. Plan for weekly allowances as part of being a member of the family to help children learn how to manage money.
- Model kindness in your various actions within the home and while participating in community service activities with your family.
- Convene weekly family meetings to plan family outings, vacations, identify chores, and resolve ongoing conflicts.
May the final days of summer be filled with loving memories and preparations for a heathy and restful start of a new school year.
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.