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April 25, 2014
Posted 04/25/2014 01:12PM

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day juggling and running and putting out fires that constitute parenting. You may occasionally hear ideas from others with similarly aged daughters and think, “Maybe I ought to be doing that,” or “Starting this summer, or next school year, or once my daughter is X years old, I’ll put that in place.” A few years ago, at some parent coffee or other, I distributed a handout that encouraged parents to consider some simple, easy to execute practices that they might put into place sooner rather than later.  This week, I’d like to share that list again:

Ten things you can do right now

  1.  Enforce a bedtime.
  2.   Get rid of TV during the week. At the least, ensure no TV watching in the 30 minutes prior to bedtime – this will allow the brain to settle down.
  3.  Know how and when your daughter is using the computer. If you don’t know how to check the history, learn how.
  4. If your daughter has a cell phone for emergency reasons – the only reason a middle school girl needs a cell phone – have it live in the kitchen when she is home.
  5. Teach her how to use the washing machine and dryer.
  6.  Give her a weekly chore and hold her accountable.
  7.  To the extent possible, have a predictable schedule and routine for weekdays.
  8. If she doesn’t have some unscheduled, free time in her seven-day week, help her make some choices about how to re-establish a balance of work, play and quiet.
  9. When she comes to you with a problem, don’t solve it. Coach her.
  10.  Hug her, everyday, without fail


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