What to do with the kids after school

A difficult time

After school is a very difficult time for us as single parents.  Unfortunately, it can also be a difficult time for our kids.  In my webinar on teen drinking I point out that the most common time for kids to start to get into trouble with alcohol and other drugs is the hours between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM, those hours after school when supervision is difficult at best.

Is there a relative or friend who can help?

 Some of us are lucky enough to have a relative, grandmother, aunt, uncle etc. to help out, some of us are not so lucky.  In my case, the closest relative was 2000 miles away so that was of little value.

I had a next door neighbor who was always home and my kids were to check in with him after school and he promised to keep a look out for trouble.  Generally that worked but it didn’t stop my son from experimenting with grass in the back yard with his buddies.

 We need a plan

 As parents, we need a plan for the kids after school.  Where are they to go?  Who is in charge?  What do we expect from them? How are we going to check in with them?

In my opinion, the ideal plan keeps them at school involved in an activity that requires their presence at practice such as soccer, football etc.  The more we can keep our kids engaged in activities, the less likely they are to get into mischief behind our backs.

 Keep them involved with something productive

The next best plan is to have them involved in some sort of structured activity either at home or at a friend’s house.  This would be a good time to do homework, chores, feed the family dog etc.

The important thing is to make sure their time is full of productive activity and not have them sitting around thinking of trouble to get into.  One suggestion is to enroll them in a karate class or something similar.  Kids generally love it and it teaches both mental and physical discipline.

What about emergencies

Another important consideration is having an emergency plan.  What happens in the event of a fire, earthquake etc.  What are they to do if for example, God forbid, you have an accident and don’t make it hope? Where do they go?  Who do they talk to? Do they have emergency phone numbers readily available, posted by the phone?  Do you even have a phone? What do they do if there is power failure?

In the further information section below, I have listed some websites that offer more information and advice to single parents.

Finally, let’s get to know each other.  Good luck in the days ahead. My wish for you is that your children grow up healthy, and contribute to society in a positive way.  I’m here to help you get there. We’ll talk again.  This is Len. Bye for now!

 

For more information and ideas

TLC Family “How to Make a Schedule for Kids After School”

http”//tlc.howstuffworks.com/…/how-to-make-schedule…

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Want to know how to make a schedule for kids afterschool? Visit TLC Family to learn how to make a schedule for kids afterschool.

Best and worst after-school activities for children with ADHD …

http://www.babycenter.com/0_best-and-worst-aftersch

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Best afterschool activities for children with ADHD. Karate or tae kwon do These activities require intense mental and physical involvement so they tap into your

Home alone? New study shows what kids do after school

http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/9900/Apr03…/7.htm

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3 Apr 2000 – About 3.5 million American children between ages 5 and 12 spend some time home alone after school. But the average amount of time isn’t

After-School Activities, Sports, and Programs for Kids & Boredom …

http://fun.familyeducation.com/…/outdoor…/33126.ht…

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Find information on afterschool activities ranging from afterschool programs, Support Your Child’s Interests · Do Homeschoolers Miss Out on High School

After Schol Rotuines for Kids

http://www.theconfidentmom.com/…/effective-aftersc

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Effective After School Routine Tips. by confidentmom on September 15, 2011. Crazaberamer server ip Routines can make a home with children so much less chaotic. Last week I shared

Finding One: What Kids Do When They’re Not in School

http://www.wallacefoundation.org/…/finding-one-what…

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Finding One: What Kids Do When They’re Not in School – All Work and No Play? Still, nearly 3 in 10 say they are home alone after school at least three days a

When It’s Just You After School

http://kidshealth.org › KidsFeelings

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Now, that’s not too realistic, but plenty of kids are home alone after school until It’s a good idea to practice what you would do in a real emergency, just in case

 

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Child Teacher Conflict

First I want to thank teachers in general and observe that most are good people with hearts of gold and armor of steel.

There was a recent Facebook post concerning a 5 year old who informed her teacher she needed to go potty. She was refused permission and subsequently soiled her pants and was forced to sit in it for the remainder of the day.

Simply and unequivocally this is wrong. No child should have to endure this humility and certainly not one so young. In the face of massive physical evidence (soiled clothes) it is easy to see the problem and take action.
In this case, my suggestion is action begins with a meeting with the teacher and her supervisor and depending on the outcome, goes from there.

My personal experience


But what about a more subtle problem, one with no physical evidence? So your child comes home and tells you Mrs. so and so is mean. What to do?
This happened to me. My daughter had never ha d a problem with a teacher but in 5th grade, she began to have an issue with a specific teacher. I met with the teacher and personally observed what appeared to be a kind but strict individual. Well I thought, maybe Dawn needs some strict rules and anyhow, in life we need to learn to accommodate many types of personalities so I ignored this situation for some time thinking my daughter would adjust.
Well I was wrong. It turned out that behind closed doors, this was a mean spirited, sarcastic, negative teacher and by the time I understood the magnitude of the problem, my daughter had basically slid backwards almost a full year. She learned almost nothing that year except to hide.

The Bottom Line


My message is simple. If your child is having a problem with a teacher, investigate it thoroughly and take action as appropriate. Now I understand sometimes kids cry wolf when there is none but seriously, if your child is having a difficult time with a teacher, his or her education is at risk so you need to take it seriously and investigate thoroughly and move your child if necessary to a different teacher.
The bottom line is put your child’s needs and education first and take action if necessary to protect your child from a bad teacher. Once again, most teachers are good people but occasionally… Well you get the idea.
 Dealing with student/teacher conflict


Educating your child takes the work of you and the teacher. It takes communication, understanding, and cooperation. If you have an issue with your child’s teacher set up an appointment to speak with the teacher. Don’t barge in and discuss your issue in a classroom full of kids. The teacher is working during school hours, respect that.
When you meet with the teacher, have a list of talking points. Include your child’s statements and concerns.

Talk about Issues

Don’t explode on the teacher. Talk about the issues. Listen to find out if your child is missing the big picture, or stretching the truth. Allow yourself to hear the teacher’s perspective and try to get a feel for the teacher’s level of genuine concern.
Step back and compare the two perspectives. Draw conclusions and take action with the teacher. Then, If things don’t work out consider bringing your well documented and researched information to the principle. The best case scenario at this point is to meet with the teacher and the principle at the same time.
Remember, the most important thing is your child’s education. Crazaberamer . That should be the goal of every parent, teacher, and administrator in our school systems.

My wish for you

Now my wish for you is your children grow up healthy and are positive contributors to society. I’m here to help you get there. This is Len. We’ll talk again. Bye for now.

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