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by Dr. Brad Schwall
| Parenting, Homework, Children, Adolescents, Teens, School

Your Daily Family To-do List: 5 Habits for Good School Days

There are five simple habits families can implement each day to stay connected, organized, and focused on what matters most.


Routines help create structure and a sense of security. We repeat actions that matter and rituals encourage connection and meaning.

Before School

1. Set the tone. Ask, “What do you want from your day?”

We can project onto our day what we hope for and what we expect. We may want to be extra productive. We may want to be positive or at peace. We may want to make a new friendship or be supportive of someone. It’s easier to accomplish what we want in a day when we name what it is we want.

2. Make a list. Go over what needs to be accomplished that day.

A list can be created the night before or in the morning when there are specific tasks that need to be accomplished for sure that day. By focusing on one or two things that may need to be completed, we can be accountable. Making a short and concise list of priorities for the day prevents nagging because it forces us to make a note of a “to do” and then give an acknowledgment when it’s been completed.

In the Evening

3. Focus on the positive. Ask “What was one good thing about today?”

As a family, share a good thing about the day. Ideally, this is over dinner together, but it can be before bed or any time in the evening. Research shows that recounting positive events and things for which we are grateful increases our well-being.

Any Time

4. Focus on what matters. Spend time focusing on meaning and purpose.

Make time for a spiritual activity, such as prayer or reading scripture or a devotional.
Summarize a lesson that may have been learned in the day. Focusing on our greater purpose puts life in perspective.

5. Show love. Tell your kids you love them in different ways.

Write a note. Say “I love you” when they wake up and when they go to bed. Say why you love them and what you love about them. Draw a picture for them. Cut a sandwich into the shape of a heart. We can never express love too much.


Counseling and Assessments at The Center

Our therapists and psychologists provide counseling, assessments, and educational testing for kids, teens and adults. Whether you are needing help as a parent, help for your child or teen, or testing, such as an ADHD evaluation, we are here to help.

Call The Center at 214-526-4525 to schedule an appointment with any of our 35+ therapists or psychologists at any of our offices across North and Central Texas. Learn more about our team HERE.

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