Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to School - More "Do For" Less

 I show love for my family  by "doing for."  Love and Logic helped me see that sometimes "doing for" may accidentally communicate to a child that they are not competent enough to "do for" themselves.  So I decided to "do for" less.  It wasn't easy.

"Do For" Less - Waking Up
At what age can a child wake themselves for school?  It depends on the child but I do know it can certainly be in place by 4th grade. Since I have begun raising this as an issue, I have seen many parents in my classes with kindergarteners and 1st graders well on the way to mastering this skill. 

If it's time for you to "do for" less here are some baby steps other parents have tried.
  1. Purchasing an old fashioned alarm clock and giving it as a gift to your child. They don't have to be able to "tell" time just to respond to an alarm.
  2.  Ask them how much time they need to get ready and what time you should set the clock for.  (Or teach them how to set it.) 
  3. Some parents of younger children practice together all the things that need to happen in a morning to "get ready." 
  4. Some take pictures and make a book to read together or for the child to consult: Including making the bed, putting pajamas away, brushing teeth, brushing hair, getting dressed, etc.
  5. If the child runs late, that's a great time to ask if maybe the clock should be set to wake them up earlier? 
What if kids just dawdle or refuse to get ready and make other's late?  Those are other  posts.


  1. What do you do if they still refuse to get ready?

    1. Hmmm, "What do you mean by "refuse" to get ready? How old? Some parents have tried making a photo album with younger kids that tells the story of each step of getting ready featuring the child in the photos. If this is done on a Saturday when there is no time pressure "as practice" then the posted photos or pages can guide the child the next week. Sometimes its a "teaching" issue. But if it is an actual opposition then consequences come into play. Some parents take them to school in whatever they have on offering the option: "Would you like to get dressed before we leave or wear the clothes in this bag and get dressed in the car? Without knowing more that's one thing I can suggest.


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