Tools For Learning

Inspiration for Parents & Educators

ASK Dr. Smialek

Q: I’m a divorced father and my kids don’t live with me. How can I stay involved in their home and school life?

A: Be creative! Look for ways to let your kids know that you care about what’s going on in their lives. Email or texting is a great way of staying in touch and getting updates. You can discuss  what’s happening in their lives, what their plans are, and some of the things they are concerned about. Whenever possible attend their school  functions. Kids espeially like it when their dads volunteer in their classroom or school. Always remember you can make a real difference in your children’s lives!


Q: My daughter doesn’t take rules seriously. What can I do?

A. Putting rules in writing and their consequences if they are disobeyed is a powerful strategy for your child to be mindful of appropriate behavior. Be brief and positive as you author a contract. Example: “Do not disturb Mom when she is on the phone. If you do, computer time will be shortened.” Then sign it, along with your daughter. Post it in a place where it can be easily seen and refered to often. It works!


Q: When my son makes a mistake, I am often tempted to respond negatively with criticism. What is a good response in this type of situation?

A: A great response when you son makes a mistake is one that focuses on solutions. Example: “You forgot to bring your science book home again. Before you leave school, please check your backpack for it tomorrow. We still have some time to finish your science project.” This is a more positive comment rather than, “I can’t beleive you forgot your science book again!”


ASK Dr. Smialek if you would like an answer to a question concerning your child’s success at home or school.

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