It’s that time of the year again, time for the kids to go back to school. There are plenty of parents that treat the beginning of the school year as a holiday, because the kids aren’t around the house as much leaving trails of mess in their wakes. Others have a difficult time with it because the structure that largely goes out the window during the summer is suddenly back and right in our faces.
But no matter where you stand when it comes to back to school, we all know that there is a definite transition for our kids and for us as parents that we cannot ignore. So as plenty of us begin this transition again, or maybe for the first time, here are a handful of tips to help make your transition a little easier this year.
1) Back to school sleep schedule: During the summer, we let our kids stay up a little later on a fairly consistent basis. When they are younger they still get up pretty early in the morning, but it’s easier to let them catch up with an afternoon nap or an extra early bedtime when school is out. What we try to do is get the kids back on their sleep schedule a few days to a week before school starts. That way the transition isn’t as difficult and your kids won’t show up for the first week of school feeling like zombies.
2) Turn off the TV: You might not let your kids watch much television anyway, but if you get a little relaxed during the summer, it might be time to turn off the TV as you transition back to school hours. At my house, we are turning the TV off totally on school nights and replacing it with a school routine.
3) Re-focus on healthy food: My wife is an amazing cook, but during the summer we don’t get the consistent healthy meals that we get during the school year. It’s mostly because we are all over the place with different and mostly relaxed schedules. That’s why making healthier eating, and consistent family meal times are a great way to help with your back to school transition.
4) Be ready for potential meltdowns: It’s easy to forget that going to a new classroom with new teachers and sometimes a new school altogether is a HUGE adjustment for your kids. So none of us should be totally confused if our children are suddenly not acting like themselves during the beginning of the school year. You will have a gigantic advantage if you are expecting the potential meltdown and deal with it patiently.
5) Be available more during the first week of school: This might sound obvious, but scheduling business trips, shopping excursions or other events during the first week of school is probably a bad idea. The more available you are for your kids during the evening hours, the better.