Top Ten Tips for welcoming your child home from school

1. Try to make sure a parent is home:

Children benefit greatly when they are greeted by a parent when they come home from school.  Although this may be difficult for many parents, it is an ideal to strive for when ever possible.

2. Have an organized system for their school stuff:

Set up a system in your home so that kids know exactly where to hang their coats and put up their rucksacks.  An organized plan means less reminders and instruction.

3. Limit questions:

It is very tempting to bombard children with a barrage of questions as soon as they walk in the door.  However, your child will appreciate a warm greeting much more than an interrogation about each part of their day.  When you refrain from asking too much, your children will let you know what is important to them although it might not be upon immediate arrival from school.

4. Listen rather than interrogate:

Children often come home with stories and complaints about their friends and teachers at school.  In the safety of their home they hope to share their tales and be met with a listening ear.  To be an effective listener in a conversation of this sort, parents have to show understanding rather than interrogating and critiquing.  Eye contact with the child coupled with a sympathetic not or word is what the child needs at that moment.

5.  Try to stop everything you are doing for the first few minutes:

Once you are making the effort to be home for your child make sure to really be there for him/her.  make sure to not be on the phone when your child is walking in and try to stop whatever you were working on and sit with him/her for the first few minutes. Most things can wait a few minutes and the bonds that can be strengthened at that time are priceless.

6. Offer your child a choice when to do their homework:

Some kids like to do homework right when they come in and be “free” for the rest of the evening while other desperately need a break and outlet before doing anything school related.  Speak to children about their preferences and plan your evenings accordingly.

7. Have a snack prepared:

All children know where to find the nosh in their homes but that doesn’t compare to coming home to a snack prepared for them. cut-up fruits and vegetable or homemade cookies, once in a while, is sure to be appreciated by hungry kids.

8. Have an activity prepared:

Kids’ interests after school vary greatly. Some children prefer quiet restful activities while others appreciate the company of peers.  sports and games. Observe your child and discuss with them their interests.  Plan organized activities that fit into your family structure.

9.  Allow them to release their energy in a healthy way:

Many kids come home from school with an abundance of energy that is begging to be released.

10. Once in a while have a special treat prepared:

It is a nice idea to present your child once in a while with a small treat when they come home from school.