Common Concerns during the School-Age Period
To make reading more enjoyable for children the following are important points to remember:
- Associate learning to read with adult activities. It is important to set an example to children by reading yourself. Some adults spend most of their time watching television. This practice makes the child think that reading is just for children and think that it is not an important activity.
- Another way of making reading an enjoyable activity is by asking the child to read car tips and road signs while driving or read aloud the recipe while cooking.
- Ask the child after reading a book. Let the child express what he feels about the content of the book, if it is good or bad and if he or she learned something.
- Reading a book before bedtime is a very good family activity while enhancing the reading skill of the child.
Latchkey children are school-agers who lack adult supervision each weekday after school. In present times, both parents are working and are usually away from home when the child arrives home. Some parents even leave home when their child is still sleeping, leaving the child feeling left out or alone. As a result latchkey children develop an increased tendency to accidents. Delinquent behavior is also noted in these children and beginning of alcohol and drug abuse is usually done to cope up with feelings of loneliness. As lack of parental supervision is observed, children in return will have decreased school performance. The following are suggestions to deal with these situations:
- Parents should allot time each day alone with their children before or after school.
- Determine individual characteristics and changes in working schedule are appropriate to deal with the problem.
- Arrange with a close relative or neighbor who is usually home late in the afternoon to stay with the child.
- Prepare a safety kit and keep it filled.
- For parents who arrive home at the evening from work, it is very important that they make additional time available for their children and have them describe their day.
- Before leaving the house or at bedtime, be certain to plan an activity for the next day so that children will be left with something purposeful to do.
- Consider of having a pet. Animals such as dogs, cats, hamsters and birds offer companionship in a quiet house.
- Parents should leave messages at the refrigerator or in the bathroom just to say hi. In this way, the child feels loved and remembered even though the parent is not around.
- It is very frightening for a child to stay home alone unexpectedly when parents are delayed in arriving home. If cases like this occur, parents should call the children.
- Increase the child’s socialization by exploring and providing opportunities to socialize with friends or join sports programs or activities at school or in the community.