The start of the school year is an exciting and hectic time for most families, whether you have one child or many. Depending on the age of your kids, the shift from summertime to school time can really shake up your schedule, especially if you have to ensure kids of varying ages get to and from school at the right time. You don’t want to miss drop time or have the school bus leave your children behind. Plus, the cost of back-to-school supplies can add up!
While the fun of summer is hard to leave behind, returning to school can mean more structure and extra time for parents, which is especially helpful for those who work. However, a big transition can be difficult for everyone in the family, so ensuring your plan for success is a wise idea.
Check out some simple tips for making the start of the school year a breeze in this guide.
Tip 1: Start The New Routine Before School Starts
The lazy days of summer are enjoyable; getting back into a stricter schedule can lead to tears and anger. So, to avoid major upset and stress, start gradually adjusting to this new routine. This way, kids don’t go from staying up and sleeping in late to an entirely new routine.
Slowly move back bedtime and wakeups over the course of a couple of weeks. It’s also a good idea to have meals aligned with what they will be once school is in session.
Tip 2: Ensure Open Communication With Your Kids
If you want to help your children transition into the school year with less anxiety, make sure you communicate with them openly and positively. Teach them healthy ways to cope with stress, and tell them they can come to you with any concerns or fears around school or any other aspect of their lives.
Some ways you can teach children to better handle stressful or emotional times include:
- Meditation or breathing techniques
- Talking through emotions
- Spending time alone to decompress
- Doing a craft or activity they enjoy
Tip 3: Make Room For Quality Time
Family time and one-on-one time with each child are vital for their development. During the school year, this can be even more challenging as everyone is likely busy with many things. However, try to establish a way to connect with your kids.
For example, you could plan fun activities with teenagers a couple of times a month. For younger children, setting up a routine where you spend some downtime together right after school can help them find security and feel supported emotionally.
Tip 4: Make The First Couple Weeks Back Easier
Setting up new schedules takes time. After being home all summer, many kids struggle to be away, even if they like their school. So, further ease into the change by making the first couple weeks back to school more relaxed. Make sure to plan some fun activities, allow for extra downtime, and encourage kids to get rest when they need it.
Tip 5: Don’t Forget Your Health & Happiness Needs
Starting a new school year isn’t just a big adjustment for kids; it’s also stressful for the parents and adults in the family. So, just as you try to support your children and give them grace during this time, extend the same kindness to yourself.
If you’re overly anxious or tired, it’s not good for anyone. Just remember that the new routine will start to feel easier soon!