The after-school routine…
Do you ever feel like you completely lose your kids and they go absolutely crazy on you after school?
You lose all control and authority.
By the time it’s bedtime you’re completely worn out, you’ve yelled more than you’d like to admit.
It’s only 8 pm and you’re ready for bed yourself…
What you need is a routine! A schedule.
A list of rules and expectations that your child is familiar with and rewards that they are happy to work for.
Decide together on the reward. And decide when your child will get this reward.
Is this something they will work for every day? If they have a full day of great check-ins they will get something at the end of the day?
Or is it something they will get at the end of the week for successful after-school routine?
Maybe it needs to be a month full of great after-school behavior that will get them this reward?
Create a visual schedule of activities you want your child to accomplish
Some things you can put on the visual schedule:
-Set the table
-Clean up after dinner
-Put clothes in the laundry hamper
*You can create icons for anything that matches child’s ability that you would like them to accomplish after school.
After they get all of the things on the visual schedule done they get a reward. In our home, it’s time on the phone or some TV time.
Below is an example of our morning routine visual schedule.
You should also have a set of behavioral rules or expectations.
Here are some suggested rules.
- Be respectful – do not talk back, make fun of, repeat
- Use inside voice – use quiet inside voice. No yelling, screaming or loud noises unless there is an emergency.
- Keep hands and feet to yourself – do not touch anyone or hurt anyone else
- Use walking feet – no running in the house
These ruled are just a suggestion. These are in addition to a schedule of what you expect of them to accomplish after school (homework, chores, ABA, etc). These are behaviors that you would like to see from your child.
Create a schedule of when to check in. This will depend on your child and your evening schedule.
Have check in’s every 1/2 hour to every hour.
Give warning throughout the evening, no need to wait for check-in. They can earn a timeout when unwanted behavior happens.
A combination of a visual schedule or to do list plus an expectation of appropriate behavior will create a great start to a successful after-school routine.
There may be some pushback, and it will take a few days to get into the swing of things. But once your child remembers the rules, and realizes they are rewarded when they are successful, they will thrive! And you will have a less stressful, more successful after-school routine.
You got this mama!
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