What to expect
Starting primary school is a big challenge for you and your child.
You have a new morning routine and you might have to find a rhythm that will help you get out the door on time especially if you also need to get ready for work.
The best way to deal with this stressful new routine is to find a plan that works for you and stick to it.
Your child at this age is still trying to learn everyday things that we, as adults take for granted.
You might think that your child isn’t listening to you, but she might be just trying to figure out what someone said five minutes ago.School-age children are still trying to figure out and understand the world around them, so it’s understandable that they might be a little distracted.
It’s a good idea to allow an extra thirty minutes when doing things with your school-age child.
Tips for school-age behaviour
Here are some tips that might help in relation to your child’s behaviour:
Let your child try.
Your child will be able to manage his feelings if he is allowed a little independence. When upset, he might go to another room to calm down or he might try negotiating to resolve a conflict. It’s a good idea to try to avoid jumping in to solve your child’s problem every time- give him the chance to solve it first.
Solve problems together.
At this age you and your child can try to resolve conflicts together. Instead of automatically saying, ‘Go to your room’, you can discuss what behaviour you both want. You might be able to come with a solution that you are both happy with and your child will probably be happier to comply because she helped reach the solution. Once you come up with an agreement, stick to it.
Show your child how you feel.
If you can tell him honestly how his behaviour affects you, he may recognise his emotions in yours, and then he will be able to feel for you. For instance, you might say, ‘When the television is turned up so loudly, I can’t talk on the phone.’ By starting the sentence with ‘I’, it gives your child to chance to change things for your benefit.’
Develop her listening skills.
It will still be of benefit to speak to your child on their level if you are saying something of importance. To see whether she is listening, ask her to repeat what you said.
Agree in advance on consequences.
It’s a good idea to get your child to set consequences for unwanted behaviour, or at least, agree to what you have set. It’s amazing how much easier it is when children know what to expect before they have already agreed on it. Sometimes you won’t need to set consequences for certain actions. Allowing your child to experience the natural consequences of his own behaviour can be instrumental in helping him to develop responsibility. For instance, feeling cold or chilly when he refuses to put on a coat.
Your school-age child may begin to experiment with behaviour such as swearing. It’s important for you to speak to your child about his choice of words rather than simply ignoring his behaviour. Your child might not understand what a swear word means but they will understand the words that can hurt or offend others.
Lying is a part of a school-age child’s development as is telling the truth. It’s important to be positive and emphasise the importance of honesty in your family.
Pestering can drive you crazy, so it helps to have a consistent plan for when your child pesters. You can begin by making sure your child understands that you won’t consider what he is asking for until you hear some good manners.