Behold! The time has come. Summer is quickly drifting away and the start of school is just around the corner. Can you believe it?
For parents, the back to school rush can be stressful as schedules quickly change and the hunt for school supplies intensifies. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take as a parent to better manage the stress that comes with getting your kids ready for the start of school.
1. Start putting your kids to bed earlier.
Warning! Your kids will not like you for this! Begin to adjust your children’s bedtime 5-15 minutes each night for 2 weeks. This will reset your kids’ circadian rhythm, the body clock that all of us have inside us.
It’s also important to know that kids ages seven to twelve need ten or eleven hours of sleep, while older kids need eight to nine hours.
2. Enter school calendar dates to your master calendar before school starts.
In my home, our master calendar is an app on our iPhones. Cheryl and I use this calendar because we can share it through the iCloud which enables us to enter dates and have them shared to our phones in real-time.
With 3 kids, this activity takes a good deal of time. The good news is that you see any conflicts right away and determine the best workaround far in advance.
3. Attend any special nights for students and parents.
This one seems obvious. However, you might be surprised to see how many parents do not attend these meetings. While I was writing this post, I received an email announcing an event at Kyrsten’s elementary school. It is called “Meet the Teacher Orientation.”
Meeting your child’s teacher helps you to better understand him or her. You would be surprised how much you can learn about someone in a short time!
4. Make lunches and pick out clothes the night before.
Our kids are responsible to pick out their clothes and make their lunches for the next day before their bedtime. This may seem like a small thing. Actually, it’s two fewer things you have to do and it teaches your kids responsibility.
Our children never complain to us about their lunch because they make it for themselves.
5. Get as many school supplies as possible.
This will all depend on when you get your child’s classroom list. If you get the full list before school starts, go and get everything they need. This will help to make your first week of school more manageable.
After all, most of the stores are out of classroom supplies by the time school starts. If for some reason you don’t get the list until school starts, go out beforehand and get some of the things that your child has always needed each year regardless of what will be on the list.
6. Do something fun with your kids.
No parent wants to live with the regret of looking back on the summer and realizing that they didn’t spend quality time with their kids. Build something fun into your schedule. Make some memories together.
7. Get your kids in the habit of eating a nutritious breakfast.
Summer is a time to kick back and vacation with your family. This can often lead to a different eating schedule. With older kids such as teenagers, sometimes they don’t wake up until lunch time!
Leslie Bonci, a nutritionist, and registered nurse, was recently asked about breakfast and its effect on people.
According to her, a meal first thing in the morning has a positive influence on cognitive performance in school, especially on task-oriented behaviors—and particularly in students younger than 18.
This has been confirmed again and again by many studies. The lesson here is that your kids need a good meal to start out their day. Don’t wait until school starts. If you can, start right away so your kids will get in the habit of eating earlier.
8. Sort through your child’s clothes.
Now is a great time to go through your kid’s closet and find out what they are going to need for school. Trust me, it’s much better to find out now that your 1st grader no longer fits into any of his pants than it is to discover it the night before school starts.
9. Talk to your kids about their upcoming school year.
If your children are anything like mine, they won’t want to talk about school until it’s time to go back. This is perfectly normal! The longer they can avoid the subject, the further it seems away.
With that said, it’s good to let your children express their feelings when they are ready. This requires us to take the time to listen to them and to do our best to assure them that everything is going to work out.
Are you ready?
Doing these things will definitely help you and your kids make a smooth transition back to the classroom. Have more ideas? Share them in the comments below. Have a great year!
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