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By American Counseling Association
Special to Village News 

Don't let the children drive you crazy


Last updated 5/20/2020 at 5:20pm

One result of the health crisis has been a great many parents getting to spend a lot more home-time with their children. While situations vary around the country, many school systems have ceased classroom instruction for the year. Instead, children may be doing online classes, while complaining and trying to sneak in as much TV, cellphone and video game time as possible each day.

However, parents can help minimize the complaining, the goofing off and their own headaches, by taking action to make home-time more productive.

A starting point is having a real plan for the child’s day. Experts recommended making a schedule sheet to hang on the wall or fridge where parents and children can see what happens throughout the day and week. In school students have set times for math, English or history lessons. Doing school at home time should be the same to help move the learning process forward and minimize arguments.

It’s also important to offer choices. Reading time doesn’t have to mean picking up the same book or story each day. Give the child a selection to choose from. This same sort of approach can work for art projects, writing lessons or virtually any subject.

Math studies, for example, might include lessons from a math book some days, but could also include practical math projects around the house. Does the child know how to measure and calculate the square feet in their bedroom? Can they figure out how to change that recipe to increase or decrease the number of cookies it will make? Then how about going right from there into a baking session?

The opportunities to learn around the house are endless. The backyard is probably filled with budding plants, small bugs or places to plant a few seeds, all part of science learning. What about helping the child put together a family history writing project or family tree project with research and art? And yes, there are art projects for most children, regardless of their age.

Children are very social creatures, and being stuck at home with their parents and maybe siblings for any extended period isn’t as much fun as hanging with friends or even being back in school. But with a little planning and effort, parents can help fill up the days in productive ways to help make the time go faster and to minimize the complaining.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association. Send comments and questions to [email protected] or visit


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