It’s that time of year gain where change for you and your children is imminent. Back-to-school can be exciting, stressful, and everything in between which can lead to stressed parents and stressed children!
As a parent, I have learned some practical solutions to common back-to-school hassles that will make the year ahead less stressful for you as a parent, but also allowing your children to be more responsible.
- STAY POSITIVE
Starting a new school, or a new grade has a mix of excitement and fear. A new school experience is exciting – there is so much to learn and experience, but also frightening with the new faces, places and culture to adjust to.
The best advice is to be open-minded and make the most of it! Things at school are bound to be different from your own experiences. With an open mind you will be able to see that the school environment is the best for your children to thrive. Celebrate the experience of your child being somewhere new with new people. As scary as it may be at times, the excitement that comes with it is something you should embrace.
- CREATE ROUTINES
The busier your day-to-day life is, the more you benefit from routines. Routines are your daily habits, the things that you do the same way at the same time. Routines help children feel safe and secure because they know that certain things happen at certain times. Since routines help children know what’s expected, children are generally more cooperative as a result and through consistent repetition these routines can help build their independence from a very young age right through to college. (But let’s not rush it!)
- Take a few minutes out of your day
- Think about each step you take to get ready and get out of the house in the morning, afternoon and evening
- Post the routine on the fridge or visible area in your home
Note: you can make additions or corrections as needed. Once you’ve got it tweaked, you can take a few minutes to type it up if you like. But don’t feel you have to have it perfect. Life changes, so will your routines!
- ESTABLISH FUN TRADITIONS
Establishing a fun back-to-school tradition is a nice way to begin the year with your children. Here are some ideas that won’t cost you too much!
Make the first day extra special!
Take a picture of each child on their first day back to school. Go the extra mile and have your child hold up a small sign marked with the date and a favorite activity or what he/she wants to be when they grow up.
Treat your children
Have a special Mom and child and/or Dad and child date at the end of the first week of school or at the end of the 1st month back at school. Let your children choose where to go and enjoy some time out together before the homework, practices and extra-lessons kick in.