I know.  It’s heading into those dark days.  Kids don’t want to get out of bed.  Homework’s becoming a misery.   As the weather gets colder, the household tension meter is rising.

If you can, try if you can to step back a little from all of the academic tensions and turn down the heat of the household. Your kids are probably feeling overwhelmed by the ever exciting  and growing mountain of worksheets that they can barely handle.  In short, they need support.

For many kids school is an ongoing grind. The ever present delayed gratification (do well in elementary school – so you’ll be ready for middle school – which will get you in better shape for high school – that will help you get into college – then later professional school – so one day you will have a good job)  doesn’t work so well for our Shut-Down Learner heroes and heroines. They burn out much quicker than the others who accept the delayed gratification formula.

Going into the New Year, resolve to try and do something with your kids that’s just fun. Play a couple of UNO games or a game of Trouble  (Those games don’t take long!!!) or find some arts and crafts project to do with your child. Recently, I bought a world geography coloring book and found it to be good therapy (for myself).  There are many of those on the market that are fun for adults and kids alike. Many kids would like doing something as simple as coloring with you – even older kids, believe it or not.

If you have a spouse, get him (yes, I know I am making an assumption here) off the computer and tell him to play a game with the kids too.  It doesn’t have to be a big affair like Monopoly – a five minute game works fine.

Kids need emotional fuel to tackle the drudgery they perceive about school.  Emotional fuel is particularly essentialfor those kids that don’t derive much gratification from their efforts. You don’t have to do these “fun activities” every night, but finding the time to play some games or interact over non-electronic activities puts some emotional fuel back in their tank.

Happy holidays to all and a happy and healthy New Year.