Q: I am a stay at home Mom. I have a son that will be starting kindergarten in August. I did not send him to preschool because I think kids go to school long enough and I wanted that time to be with me. Are there things that I need to be doing other than the basics to get him ready for school? I want it to be a smooth transition.
A: This is a great question. Kindergarten Readiness is at the forefront of the education process right now. It is something that you are probably hearing more and more about. You can see a huge difference in children that start school with at least a basic set of knowledge and how quickly their academic levels grow in school. You can always be working on numbers, colors, letter recognition and sounds. I think it is also important to work on socialization skills. You don’t want school to be the first time your child is interacting with other children. You want them to be able to share, play well with others and be aware of general social norms. I find that it is a fun game to “play school” at home. Kids love doing this and you can teach them some of the rules at the same time. This will also give them an idea of what to expect. Just the fact that you are wanting to know what else you can do to better prepare him is a sign that your son will do great in school. He already has a fantastic support system. Best of luck in the fall.
Q: What can I do with a child that will not do anything I say, ever? I have four children, but this one is going to get the best of me. He is 6 years old and he bosses me around daily. He tells everyone what to do and it’s our fault that we do it. I think I’ve waited too late.
A: First rule to always remember: it’s never too late. Anyone that is reading this can relate to this question and if they don’t then they are lying to themselves…LOL! There are always times when we give in too easy, we let them stay up too late and before we know it they are the boss of us. It happens. Has your child ever said, “You’re not the boss of me!” Welcome to parenthood. I have seen instances where I think it has gone on too long and it could be classified as a lost cause, but there’s always hope. You need to remember that you cannot control your child’s behavior. It’s true. The only thing we can control is ourselves. And let’s face it, that’s pretty darn hard to do on any given day. My recommendation for you is to change YOUR behavior. Change YOUR response to that child. When the child wants you to play a game, go outside, or make cookies you say, “I’m sorry…I only do those nice things for children who are sweet and kind to the people around them.” Will this make your home miserable? Yes! Will it make your home a nicer place to live in the future? Yes! Just give it a try. And really think about that statement. The only thing you can control is YOU! You got this….Good luck!
Q: I’m recently divorced and I am sharing custody of my two daughters with my ex-husband. My question is what advice do you have for someone in my situation to get along with the father of my children when he is constantly putting me down to my girls and saying things that are not true? My girls are 10 and 8 and they know what is going on and it is making life miserable.
A: This is a tough one to tackle, but it can be done. Time is going to be your greatest asset. I’m not sure how long you have been divorced, but you did say recently and it is going to take time. Feelings and emotions are probably still very much involved and volatile at the moment. This is a huge change for everyone involved. My advice would be to try and sit down and talk to your ex-husband. This may not be an option for you right now, but if possible, come to an agreement/arrangement that is best for the girls. Try to discuss what the expectations are going to be on his end and your end. If this is not a viable option, then you may have to take it down several notches and try to explain to your girls what is going on at a level they can relate to and understand. You can explain to them that sometimes when people are going through such a difficult time that they may say things that are not necessarily true and that their emotions are running high. Focus on the what is important and that would be the well-being and safety of the girls. I would think that the situation would improve over time, but in some cases it might not and then you just have to learn how to cope and do the best you can. This is a new situation for you too and it must be very frustrating. Give yourself time to adjust as well. I don’t think that anyone comes ahead when the other person is trashing the other parent. Your children are a part of both of you and when we criticize the other parent, the child could think that it reflects upon them. You will get through this and be stronger in the end.
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