Back to school, part 1

        Itís time to get ready to return to school. Within a few weeks, the lives of your family members will change drastically. A little preparation among the members of the family can help to make the transition smooth.

Family meeting

        If you do not currently have family meetings, this is a good time to establish them. They are an excellent means of keeping everyone informed of activities and goals for all family members. It can also be a means by which family members help each other with problems that individuals may have. Youíve got your own home-grown support group, so get into the swing of using it!

        Set up a regular time and enlist everyoneís agreement not to violate it. Start with your own "happy hour," with everyone pitching in to prepare snacks for the whole family. This can also ensure that nobody is going to be hungry. Or schedule the meeting to coincide with a meal when all family members will be there.

Family history lesson

        We learn from history that we donít learn from history. Make your family an exception. Your first family meeting can focus on situations that caused people problems during the previous school year.

        Put your heads together and see what you can do to come up with solutions. Each person needs to take responsibility for generating solutions to his or her own situations. Help the little ones by writing down some of the solutions they suggest. After you make the list, choose the ones most likely to work and give them a try. Children are more likely to make a change in their behavior if they have had a say in coming up with possible courses of action for making improvements.

Family calendar

        Establish one centralized place where all family members will list their activities. Make sure that all events are recorded: vacations, games, after-school activities, friendsí parties, school field trips, and visits to or from friends and extended family members.

        Colored pencils can help to keep track of each family memberís activities. (Markers may be easier to read, but are not erasable.)


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