Recently, I was talking with a parent that has a child in elementary school.  The parent was concerned as their child had been restless and having angry and physically aggressive outbursts.  You could tell she was at her wit’s end on what to do.  The shakiness in her voice and the tears began to well when saying that she had tried everything.  I was so proud of her for asking for help.  Parents should never hesitate to ask for help when it comes to these types of behaviors.  Often, a simple shift or two can change everything for the better.    

The very first thing I did was ask if there had been any major changes for their child.  Of course, COVID-19 and remote learning with their schools!   The mother explained that the remote schooling has proven to be such a challenge at their home, especially with one parent being an “essential” worker and the other parent working from home.  She felt like the responsibility shifted hard on her to not only work from home, but to also help her child with the remote learning process.  Stress was not a strong enough word for what she was feeling. 

We then covered the typical routine for the child on a “school” day.  This child is an 8-year-old second grader and the following was his regular routine: 

  • Wake up. 
  • Eat breakfast. 
  • Watch a video of a story being read. 
  • Math section with a how-to video with a worksheet to complete or project. 
  • 10AM a video chat with teacher and some classmates. 
  • Second math section where a different project would occur. 
  • Writing assignment. 
  • Lunch
  • 1PM video chat with teacher or helper. 
  • Project time for school. 
  • 2:30PM final video chat with teacher. 

I asked the parent if there was any downtime or breaks that the child would do and she answered that he liked to play a video game on her computer or sometimes he was allowed to watch a favorite TV show at lunch.  I then asked what the child likes to do in the afternoon/evening when school is complete.  She told me how he loves to play video games and sometimes gets to watch videos on the tablet. 

It became very clear what was missing in this child’s daily routine…MOVEMENT.  We talked about how, in school, there are built in movement breaks along with one of the favorite things a child loves, RECESS.  When the parent and I talked about this, I could see her mind shifted to changes that could be made immediately.  We collaborated and created this schedule: 

  • Wake up. 
  • Eat breakfast while watching the video of a story being read. 
  • A “Go Noodle” 5-minute break. 
  • Math - Part One
  • A “Go Noodle” 5-minute break. 
  • Math – Part Two 
  • 10 AM Video Chat
  • 20 minutes of outside free play.  (If raining, there are “Go Noodle” events for that too!) 
  • Healthy snack. 
  • “Go Noodle” breathing exercise / stretchy / relaxing. 
  • Writing assignment. 
  • Lunch 
  • 20 minutes of outside free play. 
  • 1 PM Video Chat 
  • “Go Noodle” breathing exercise / stretchy / relaxing.   
  • Project time! 
  • A “Go Noodle” 5-minute break. 
  • 2:30 PM Video Chat. 
  • REWARD: If your child successfully completed their day, reward them with free choice time of 20-30 minutes with you and your undivided attention.  Remember…if you commit to this, you must follow through with it. 

If you are wondering what “Go Noodle” is, go to this link and look all through it: .  This site is used by several school systems in the area and your child might already recognize it.  I have seen children use this in their classrooms and it is extremely effective. 

It has been only one week for this family using this new schedule.  They created a daily visual calendar and put it on a dry eraser board.  Their son can check off each of the tasks that he completes as he goes through his day.  He seeks her attention much less now during the school day so mom is able to get her work done while he is working on his school work.  Not only does he love the “Go Noodle” activities, but so does mom!  She said that her son will remind her to take a “movement” break too.  Even more exciting, mom reports that her son does not even ask for any video game time and only wants to watch one show in the evening.  Get this!!!  One of the “REWARDS” that he loves to ask for has been getting to wash the dishes with mom or dad after dinner! And those angry outbursts are gone. 

If you are stuck on needing help with planning a schedule for your child or would like advice on any other parenting issues, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  We are in this together! 

Miss Heather