Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to School-Teaching Kids to be Self Sufficient

It seems that just when you have adjusted to a summer schedule, school begins for fall, which means a whole new routine. When school starts, moms have more time and freedom, which is a welcome relief. But it can be quite stressful when your child comes home at the end of their first day frustrated with problems. Remember your child is facing new classes, new teachers, new schedules, and plenty of new expectations. Whenever there is change involving new opportunities, there is also excitement, tears, frustration and confusion. Sometimes as parents we expect our children to handle these problems on their own. Most children need help learning organization skills. If you can teach your child to be self sufficient or more organized, you can lesson the frustrations.

As a parent, your goal is to teach your child organization skills so eventually they will be self sufficient.

Acknowledge that each child will have new problems as they return to school. Your goal is to solve each problem as they arrive calmly. By doing this you are teaching them problem solving techniques that will benefit them throughout their lives.

1. Discuss the problem with your child.
2. Discuss possible solutions.
3. Let your child choose the solution.
4. Help your child accomplish the desired solution

Example Problem:

Lost notes from a teacher or missing homework assignments.

Example Solutions:

1. Organized Backpack
2. Organize an area at home for school assignments
3. Organization at school for locker or desk
4. Buy a planner and show your child how to use it
5. Go online to check student's progress


1. You are "teaching". Do not expect that your child automatically knows how to organize or be self sufficient.
2. Have patience, especially with those kids that are lacking in organizational skills. Do not expect perfection immediately
3. Stay calm. This is not a problem that should destroy the relationship
4. Your child wants to be successful. Your child wants to be self sufficient. Help them to find that success.

Parenting Workshop
Thursday, September 16th
Barnes and Noble
10180 South State Street
Sandy, Utah
7:30 p.m.
Register online at

1 comment:

  1. What a great article!!! We took some of your suggestions from another site and put them into action tonight and it was great!!
    Our gals have been really excited to return to school. They picked out their backpacks and were excited to get them organized and filled with pencils, paper, kleenex, hand sanitizer,etc. They also picked out their lunch bags. They wanted to make their lunch this afternoon. They were anxious to make their own. Because they picked out their own bags they were excited to fill both!
    Then came the bedtime routine (since we haven't had one for a few months). They eagerly and quickly picked out their outfits, set them out and could hardly hold still from their excitement to return for the first day of third and fifth grade!
    What a difference choices and organization make. We'll keep our fingers crossed for rest of the year. Just kidding - actually it is starting out on a great note and it can't help but go well with great kids!!