By Christine Weinzapfel-Hayden, LCSW, August 7, 2018 –
Most schools have been on summer hiatus. You’ve had close to three months with your children living a relatively carefree summer life. Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to create some new memories with your family.
It is probably a little hard to believe these summer days together are coming to an end. If you are like me, you and the kids may have relaxed your routine through the summer months. Now the question is, how do you get back on track?
For starters, try not to stress. Start talking to your kids about school to get them excited about the upcoming year. Speak with enthusiasm and talk about the new year in positive terms. Also, go back-to-school shopping together and let your kids have input on their supplies.
Give yourself time to gradually get settled back into a bedtime routine. If your child’s school-year bedtime is 7:30 pm but you’ve been letting them stay up until 9:00 pm during the summer, you’re going to need some time to adjust their bedtime. Try pushing their bedtime up 15 to 30 minutes at a time.
You’re also going to want to start getting them up earlier in the morning, working towards the time they will need to be awake during the school year. If you have younger children who have gotten into a habit of taking naps during the day, this would also be a good time to start eliminating nap times.
You might have also noticed your grocery bill has gone up significantly during the summer. Part of this is our tendency to graze and allow our children to graze throughout the day. Once school starts, their opportunity to snack on a whim will be gone. To help make that transition easier, it would be a good idea to cut back on the snacks.
Start getting back into the routine of eating meals at specific times. It seems that morning routines are the hardest at the start of the school year (and sometimes all year). Start practicing your morning routine now. If you’re going to need your child to eat immediately after waking during the school year start practicing now.
It’s also a good idea to start planning for afterschool activities now. Once school starts schedules seem to explode. Start figuring out which kids are going to participate in particular activities and whose responsibility it will be to get them to and from practices and games.
If you make an effort to organize your calendar now, you will feel better about your schedule later. Hopefully this will help alleviate some stress for everyone as the days start getting busier.
The start of the school year sneaks up on us every year. Don’t let this be a dreaded time for you or your children. Make going back to school fun and start preparing early. This will help your new school year start more smoothly and be a more enjoyable experience for all.