How to avoid some arguments with your child. – Part 1
In a series of three articles, I would like to address how you can approach discussions differently to avoid unnecessary arguments with your children.
When we arrive home in the evening and have had a big day at work, we are more sensitive and irritable. It’s the same thing for children too. We all need a little break otherwise we are always caught in the same whirlpool.
Children spend all day in school or daycare with rules and instructions. They work hard all day. Just like you. In addition, for children with learning or behavioral difficulties, their day requires double the effort unlike other children.
Whether you work in the city center, whether you’re a parent at home, whether you’re on the road, no matter what job you do, you carry around your day in your body. It is therefore important to leave aside the hassle of the day outside the door of your home. Take a deep breath and enjoy a few hours with your family. After all are they not the most important thing to you?
It’s not always easy, but it will be as good for you as it is for them. You can write your negative thoughts in a notebook to remove them from your head, talk to someone, or come back to them later. Sometimes getting away from the situation can help you see things more clearly or find solutions faster.
Children too can have their day’s hassle: a quarrel with friends, angry teacher, a bad grade, an upcoming assessment, the loss of an item, and so on. That’s why it’s important to talk with your little one or your big one to find out how their day went.
As much as possible, open questions should be asked, that is, questions that must be answered with something other than YES and NO.
For example :
- What was your favorite moment today and why?
- What time was the hardest and why?
- What did you do at recess?
- What was your schedule at school?
- What special activity did you do?
Conflicts between children take place most of the time at dinner, in the locker room, or during recess. By listening to them and discussing them, you will become aware of their state of mind, so you will not always make the same choices or you may change the way you do things that evening.
It may be good for everyone to break their routine a little once in a while. An unplanned outing, a surprise snack, an outdoor activity, a special drink, a lesson break for the evening, etc. If the child is not receptive or is not in a state to work, no matter what you try, there is nothing that will work. Learning or memorization will not happen. It is better to postpone and fix what is wrong instead of wasting time, on both sides. It will be much more efficient this way. Then, you will avoid unnecessary conflicts.
Some families arrive at home at 5pm, 5.30pm, or even 6pm. There is supper to prepare, homework to do, baths, teeth to clean amongst other things. If you plan to put your children to sleep at around 7.30pm or 8pm, you only have between two and a half hours to three hours with your child. It would be all the more pleasant for you and for them if these few hours were spent in a joyous, calm, and good mood. Here are some suggestions that can make a difference or that may save you some moments of opposition or crisis.
When the child arrives home from school, each family has its own way of functioning, but most of the time there is the period of lessons and homework to manage. It’s not always a pleasure. Keep in mind that you probably do not want to do it, so imagine your child. So that’s why this moment has to be FUN. It is always better to learn when we have moved and we have eaten! There is no magic formula, but here are some ideas that could be beneficial.
Pausing before starting your evening routine can be interesting and helpful so that your child can play and use up his/her energy. You can take 15 to 20 minutes with him/her and play outside, for example. You could also do a short yoga session (maximum 30 minutes) with your child (there are several free videos available online). Otherwise, (s)he may take a moment for him/herself and you have time to do something else, such as preparing the bulk of the dinner or taking care of your youngest.
If you prefer to do the lessons before dinner, you can give him/her time to arrive (it will also give you a little free moment), to unpack his/her school bag and lunch box and then give him/her a small snack. Take this slight moment to talk with your child. You can discuss his/her day, his/her favorite things, etc.
Then start homework. Some children will need a break between lessons, for example. To establish this structure will motivate them to continue.
You can do 15 minutes of work and 5 minutes break. And so on.
In short, be creative and listen. Sometimes, some parents are afraid to do homework because they are afraid of not remembering how to do it or they are afraid of not being able to help them depending on what the teacher asks. Let your child explain and show you how to do it. You can also equip yourself by searching the concepts on the internet. Very often there could be similar exercises with explanations. In exercise books, there may be examples. If not, you can talk to the teacher. He/She will be happy to help you and that will show him/her that you are there for your child. Do not be afraid to ask questions. You will concretize yourself more as a beautiful role model for your child.
Here are some ways to make lessons and homework fun:
- Vary locations (Outside, kitchen, bedroom, living room, on the floor, in a tent, etc.)
- Vary the material:
o To learn vocabulary words. Colored pencils (wood, felt, wax), chalk for outdoors, writing on a board, magnetic letters, pencils for writing in the window, scrabbe letters, etc.
o To learn mathematics. Macaroni, buttons, candies, marbles, sticks.
- The child may ask you questions
- You can play the riddles
- If your child likes to move, you can play something while studying. Ex: For each goal counted, he/she must spell a word.
- You can ask for a word, an addition, a subtraction, a multiplication or others on the stairs. Every good answer, he/she goes up a step. Once at the top, it’s over.
- Cut the vegetables into a specific number of pieces or in different shapes such as a square, a rectangle, a circle or a star-based pyramid 😉
- Allow breaks in the brain. Take a few minutes to get moving, stretch your legs, laugh or simply do something other than work. He/She will come back in force later.
- Have fun learning! There is so much more than paper and pencils.
To be continued…
Thanks for reading. A pleasure!