For some, the first day of school has come and gone. For others, it’s almost time, depending on where you live. Mine start tomorrow. WOO HOO! Did I “say” that out loud?
In preparation for the first day of school and for the entire school year, how can we let our kids know that it’s time to get serious? Aside from discussions on work ethics and attitudes, how do we make them accountable?
Introducing the School Year Contract. Yep, a signed piece of paper laying out expectations of your children that you both need to sign.
You can write your contract on a piece of paper and have your kids help decorate, use a fun app like I did or scribble on a paper plate. Whatever works for you is the right way. What do you put in your contract?
If your child has issues with respect last school year, utilize that as a goal for your contract. If your child got easily frustrated with homework, mention that. Ask for your child’s input while figuring out the important bullet points to include in their contract.
Remember that every child is different, even in the same family, so what one child needs to work on may be another child’s strength. Create individual contracts and spend time with each child creating them.
During the school year, check in once a week to ensure they are holding up their end of the bargain. Remind them they signed their contract and explain what that means. It is important to note that no child is perfect and explain that while you don’t expect perfection from yours, you do expect the effort and promise that they will try their best.
Further down the road, If they are consistently having an issue with one or more items on their contract, ask your child why and work together to make improvements. Is your child going to bed too late? Are your kids eating enough nutritious food? Are they not prepared for exams? Are they having a hard time grasping a certain subject? Are they over-scheduled? Is there an issue with a friend?
This contract is a great way to stay in-the-know when it comes to your child’s world. We are all familiar with the popular answer to the question, “How was your day?”. “Um…I don’t know” or my personal favorite, “I don’t remember”.
If you would like help and input with your contract, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, we are in this together and…
TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD!™