Two things are helpful to keep in mind:
1) This is a good time to tweak your routines - from bedtimes to meals to after school madness (you can refer to an earlier blog about "Less is More" if you find you are rushing through special family time in order to get to the next event). Routines that work for your family are so important. They set the tone and provide clear expectations for children. If getting out the door in the morning is stressful, for example, take a look at what changes you can make to your routine (starting earlier, choosing clothes the night before etc). Your children will be teenagers some day so best to start now with the message that it is important to be on time.
2) Choices are good for children this age but it is always a good idea to consider carefully what choices you are allowing them to make. (Is the tail wagging the dog?) Clothing provides a great opportunity for children to practice choosing as long as the options aren't overwhelming. (For example, "here are 3 outfits - choose one for tomorrow." Or "choose something from your school clothes for tomorrow"). Some decisions are non- negotiable (like school), so you can set the tone by using language like "It is time to get in the car" or "it is time to use the washroom before class". If you phrase it as a question like "Do you want to use the washroom?" Or "Shall we get in the car?" - it becomes optional! Feel free to use us as the bad guys- "Sorry Honey, party shoes aren't allowed at school - they are not safe in the gym".
As with ANYTHING, please don't hesitate to ask your child's teachers or Mary and Jennifer in the office. They have so much experience and are happy to share it with you.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.....Leslie