Saturday, October 19, 2013

21 Questions to Jump-Start Conversation With Your Kids

21 Questions to Jump-Start Conversation With Your Kids
By Lara Krupicka

It's evening. Maybe you're lucky enough to be sitting around the dinner table as a family. Or perhaps you've got a few moments in the car with your child between activities. So you ask, "How was your day?" But all you get are grunts and shrugged shoulders. Instead you try asking, "What did you do in school today?" This time you get the customary one-word answer: "Nothing."

What's happening here? You're simply trying to connect with your child. And while it seems like he's brushing you off, he may just be trying to disengage from school business. And your questions prevent that. Or he's so used to the question rolling off your tongue as a form of greeting, that he doesn't think you expect a real answer.

Rather than push harder for answers to your standard end-of-the-school-day questions, why not try some new conversation primers?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Preparing Your Child (and YOU!) for Middle School

Preparing Your Child
(and YOU!)
for Middle School
Suggestions for MS Survival
by Lisa Fegen - Head Honcho, RTB

As the elementary school chapter of your child's life ends, you now find your child embarking on a new, strange voyage full of mystery, intrigue, and plenty of drama: middle school! While parents oftentimes see middle school as a time to step back and let their children take control, the truth is that in reality, most students lack the skills and maturity to take this step on their own. To help successfully navigate through this sometimes rocky (but always eventful) transition, you will need to guide your child with a steady hand.

You should maintain a strong involvement in your child's school, just as you did when he or she was younger; however, it is probably time to re-think your family's current plan for managing homework, school, and extracurricular activities. If you didn't have one before, you definitely need one now! Doing some research about adolescent brain development is also a great idea so that you have a better understanding of what your student is going through. Accomplishing all of these tasks may seem like a tall order, but following some simple advice and guidelines can make the middle school transition manageable for both parent and student.