Friday, August 17, 2012

How to make back to school run smoother

Remember when you thought, "I can't wait until the kids go back to school?"

Did you think it would take so much energy from you for the family to get back into a "normal" routine?

WOW!  The first month of school is tough.  Bedtimes, alarm clocks, homework, lunches, buses, etc.  It can be difficult in the beginning.  The first day seems to go off pretty easy...the kids don't want to go back to school but they are excited about the first day.  After that it's like Christmas morning....Couldn't wait to open the presents only to find.....clothes.

If it was "just school" it may be easier for parents to adjust....but it's not.  It's after school activities such as sports, choir, etc.  How did you do it last year?  It seemed so simple.

Here are some steps to hopefully make it easier for you:

  1. Get a calendar!  I know it's difficult but if you take an hour and write everything down on the calendar your life will be easier on those days.  This is also a great activity to do with your children at night.  Bring the calendar out and ask them if anything needs to be added.  After you have added the new activities look to the next week and start planning for those activities.  Make lists for your child(ren) of the tasks they need to do to make the next week run smoothly.  Example:  If there is an activity that you can't get away from work to transport your child than on the list would be for your child to ask their friends if they could "bum a ride."
  2. Down Time:  Until the "excitement" of going back to school stops you need down time in the evening...not only for them but for you.  A half hour before (the earliest) bedtime needs to be quiet time.  Avoid anything that would stimulate their minds....this could be loud music, Monday night football, etc.  This is a great time to start bath time....sorry teenagers:  shower time.  You need this as much as they need this!!!
  3. Set the alarm clock a half hour earlier than the time the child(ren) need to wake up.  This will give you some much needed peace and quiet before the day begins.  Grab a cup of coffee and go sit outside and relax.
  4. Speak in calm tones.  I know this is difficult when one of your children keeps hitting the snooze button and is going to be late but how you start your day will be how your day goes.  Simply whisper in their ear, "time to get up or time to lose your........... you choose."  Every child has something that is not worth losing for five more minutes of sleep.  Very important to follow through if they don't get up!!
  5. Allow them 30 minutes of "unwinding" after school.  I grew up in a single parent home so my mother was always working when I got home from school.  I walked in the door and knew I had 1 1/2 hours till she got home.  Homework was much easier to do after I didn't do anything for awhile.  If your child(ren) are in sports and they don't get home until dinner time....still give them time to unwind.  Homework is easier to tackle and complete if they don't have the day's events running through their head.
For your children to be healthy YOU MUST BE HEALTHY!!!  Children learn what they live.  Take care of yourself, remain calm, be organized (but still allow for some spontaneity) and the first weeks back to school will be great.

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