Make Your Schedule Fuss-Free

by Linda Rodgers

Make Your Schedule Fuss-Free

Kids, like many of us grown-ups, never want the fun to end. Here are ways to keep the peace and your schedule intact

Make your job as schedule police easier:

Be up front
State your expectations clearly at the start of the party or visit, says child psychologist Aaron Cooper, Ph.D. You can say, “We’re really glad to see you. The party ends at five. You can walk home then or I can give you a ride. Okay?” Give a 15-minute warning before it’s time to leave, but when it’s up, simply say, “It’s time to go.”

Put a positive spin on it
When a child begs to stay longer, mom Megan Lotz of Hidden Springs, ID, usually replies: “That would be so fun! I’m sorry we can’t do that today, but we’ll plan for it another day.” Then she lets her daughter walk the friend partway back home.

Level with your kid
Tell her beforehand you don’t like being put in an awkward situation when she pleads for extra time in front of her pals, and ask for her help in ending hang-out sessions or parties. She’s more likely to cooperate if she knows you’re serious about keeping to a schedule. After all, says Cooper, “it’s the parent’s job to set the rules, and kids don’t have to like it.”