Sept. 5, 2022

Ask Margaret: What Should Kids DO After School?

Bring out your whiteboards! A listener asks for advice about afterschool routines for her two boys, and Margaret recommends writing down tasks, some unstructured time, and "feeding your beasts."

This week, listener Katie says:

Hi, Margaret and Amy. I am a longtime listener of the show and I've gained so much wisdom, comfort, and humorous perspectives on parenthood from you both. I am a parent of two boys, ages five going into kindergarten and nine going into fourth grade. Currently I am a full-time working-from-home mom. After school has always been my kryptonite. My boys tend to be grumpy and typically want to do different things. One wants to play with friends in the neighborhood, and one wants to veg and be on screens until dinner. We are low key with after school commitments. What are some habits or routines that work for you and your family after school?

Margaret explains how scheduling blocks of time, sometimes different ones for each kid, can help give kids structure after school while also leaving room for downtime in the form of their choice. She also recommends you "feed the beast" right when kids get home and make time for homework before dinner, not after.

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