Coming off summer holidays is always bittersweet for me. I don’t want them to end because of all the non-stop fun-in-the-sun time I had with my kids, but I do want them to end because of all the non-stop time I had with my kids. You get my drift, right. It’s been an amazing ride, but now it’s time for the kids to go back. I need to reclaim some work time and plain old me time!
Now that the end is near, how do you prepare for early wake-up and bed times, lunch-making and regular mealtimes, plus afterschool activity and homework times? Here are a few tips to help ensure a smooth back-to-school transition for you and your family.
- Instead of letting your sun-kissed darlings snooze all morning, get them up a bit earlier each day in the week or two leading up to the start of school.
- No more lounging in their favourite PJs all day – get them dressed and out doing something early in the day to help them prepare for the regular school morning routine.
- Start talking to your kids now about how they will help you prepare for school by packing school bags, lunches, and laying clothes out the evening before. They can even set the table for breakfast after dinner if they are feeling ambitious!
- Foster independence by making it easy for kids to take charge of their own affairs. A family calendar and organizer is a must and lets them see what’s coming up in their lives. Next time they ask when school starts, point them in the direction of the calendar so they can count the days themselves.
- Go through closets and drawers to weed out the old and help you decide on the new. To save time and avoid frustration, shop online and try clothing on in the comfort of your own home. See 5 Back to School Pointers from the Pros.
- Don’t let children see you stress over back-to-school preparations. They may be nervous about heading back and will pick-up on any anxious feelings you may have. Keep a calm and positive attitude about all things related to school.
- Consider creating a checklist or flow chart for school mornings. Enlist the help of your children in creating it to ensure their buy-in. Add in one or two fun items to their regular routine to take the mundaneness out of it; Get dressed. Hug Dad. Have breakfast. Pet the cat. Brush teeth. Get backpack ready.
- If your angels have fallen out of the habit of doing their regular chores, reinstate them now. Assign age-appropriate responsibilities and designate specific daily and weekly chore times. Family routines for meals and chores reduce family stress.
- A few minutes of planning can make the school transition a lot easier. See more tips and checklists.
- Get stoked for back-to-school. Your enthusiasm is contagious, so show your kids that school is an amazing adventure filled with new learning, friends and activities.
By Kristen Wint