Keeping Children on Task
One of the most difficult times to discipline a child is during "transitions." They occur when you pass from one activity or place to another. It could be as simple as piling your kids in the station wagon after their piano lesson. Here are some helpful hints:
- For instance, when your kid starts writhing in the back seat on the way to the supermarket, explain what you are doing: "We will pick up some groceries on the way home. Shopping helps the whole family, not just me. Picking up Mom from the bus stop makes her day easier."
- Routines are terrific antidotes to transition hell. The expectable is predictable, so the transitions feel familiar and anxiety melts away. "Quiet time (no TV or phone calls) is from 7:00 to 8:30 in your room with the door open, whether or not you have homework to do."
- Crammed schedules are not a source of pride or accomplishment! Plan your work schedules and family vacations so that you have time to accommodate the rush and exhilaration of school starts and finishes, or family gatherings around the holidays. A few boring weeks on either side of such transitions should be penciled in. Stay home and hang out around the house and avoid evening meetings.
- Counting to ten actually works. So breathe deeply, step off the treadmill of transition hell, and appreciate that precious 'hanging out' time with your kids.