May 13, 2019
Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,
My only regret at this year’s May Fête was not snapping a few pictures from my point of view of the event. I was so blessed to see all the smiling faces of the parents and friends of Trinity. The songs and dances were spectacular! We celebrated our fifth grade students, who will soon be in Middle School. Furthermore, additional important milestones are upon us as our eighth grade students move on to High School and our Beginning School students will soon be school age – this year is quickly coming to a close.
In our May Fête salute to Broadway, one song in particular brought back memories for me, “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” from Annie. As the long summer days approach, it is good to be looking for activities and programs that ensure our children are productively entertained. During my children’s growing up years, I experienced many moments of frustration with getting them to clean their bedrooms in the summer. Below are some tips that will help ease your pain throughout the summer months as children spend time at home.
Peacefulness: Remind yourself: What is the worst thing that can happen if my child does not clean their room? Then take a deep breath. Communicate and set expectations: Warn your children about the consequences of a messy room and assure them that you have complete confidence in their ability to keep things tidy now that they are a year older. Then let nature takes its course. Refuse to rescue their dirty laundry and replace any toys that have now been lost. Soon enough their room will get cleaned, and lessons will be learned.
Organization: When the dirty socks and Legos become intertwined; state things in a way that is positive and makes sense at their level. “When your room is organized then you can play. I am doing laundry and need your help to add a few more things to make a full load.” (My children would give me clean clothes!) To solve this problem, I helped them understand by making them a part of the laundry process. They put away the clean clothes immediately, and they eventually learned how to work the laundry machines (age 10).
Give them ownership: We do not have 100% control of anyone, but we do have 100% control of ourselves. Keep the yelling at bay by deciding before the fact that you will not argue with your child whenever the mess gets out of control. An if-then statement works well like; “If your room is not cleaned by Friday at noon, then any toys or clothes will be cleaned up by me and donated.” Wait a week and see if they are looking for their favorite jeans and use this opportunity to share the importance of ownership and participation in problem-solving.
It is my hope that by putting some of these strategies to practice, you and your children will continue to have those wonderful smiles all summer that I witnessed during May Fête. This is your summer too and allowing your children to become more responsible will help you both in the long term.
With warm regards,
Mark J. Ravelli
Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550