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How to get your kids to stop playing and go to school

Some innovative and easy-to-implement strategies to make "transitions" easier.

We were sooooo late for school this morning.

You see, the kids got a new Hot Wheels racing track with loop-the-loop toy yesterday.

I made the mistake of leaving it out last night, and this morning when they got to the living room the Hot Wheels track was just sitting their, calling to them "Come play with me."

Of course they couldn't resist. They didn't want to eat breakfast, they didn't want to get dressed. All they wanted to do was race their little Hot Wheels cars.

Finally, I got mad and said "Please stop, we need to get ready for school." (confession: I might have yelled "ENOUGH! IF YOU DON'T GET DRESSED RIGHT NOW I'M TAKING THE HOT WHEELS BACK!")

This worked, but not without much unhappiness and complaining.

I find transitions - getting my kids to school, getting them to bed - to be very challenging as a parent. Once my kids are playing, it is so difficult to get them to stop playing.

That's why I was so delighted when I spoke to parenting coach and ex-teacher Elisabeth Stitt recently.

I was telling Elisabeth about how I struggle to get my kids to stop playing and go to school, and she shared some innovative and easy-to-implement strategies that can make these transitions go much easier.

She shared how to use Smart Assistants (like Amazon Alexa, Google, or Siri) in a way to help your children feel more independent, and reduce the amount of nagging you have to do.

She also shared how to "reset" your child's brain from what they are doing currently (playing) to what you want them to do next (get ready for school), by engaging their musical brain.

She also explained how to use "Why", "When", and "How" choices to give your child the feeling of power and choice, and why "How" choices work best because they engage your child's imagination and moves their thoughts away from what they are currently playing with.

If you struggle with transitions, or getting your kids to move from one activity to the next without having to threaten or yell, then I'm sure you'll find this interview useful.