August is here. The weather is hot, and the store aisles are full of back-to-school supplies. There is always that exciting feeling in the air between parents and kids. We want to start the school year off as best as possible and set our families up for ultimate success. There are a few ways that you can make getting back to school more manageable, more organized, and less stressful.
Here are some helpful hints to get your family off to a good start as the new school year begins to ensure a smooth transition back to the classroom.
Enforcing a Bedtime
Because of the nature of summer, schedules and bedtime can become erratic. Setting a sleep schedule and maintaining a consistent bedtime routine teaches the body when to sleep and wake up.
Setting a regular bedtime routine may aid in combating feelings of lethargy, weariness, and sleepiness during the day. This will help your child get up easier and learn better in school. It is always a good idea to start the morning routine BEFORE school starts.
Get your child to bed and rise 15 minutes earlier in the weeks before school starts. Adjust your child's bedtime and waking time by 15 minutes every few days until school starts. Kids should be ready for school after the summer break.
Electronics have become part of our everyday life, especially in our children's lives. During the summer, parents tend to be more relaxed with the time spent on phones, tablets, and video games. But what about when school starts? How do you limit them?
Creating phone-free times of the day is one way. Establish specific times of the day that electronics are not allowed to be on, such as dinner time and a certain amount of time before bed.
Another method for limiting the time spent in front of screens and keeping tabs on internet use is to store electronic devices in a communal area of the house rather than in individual rooms.
Out of sight, out of mind.
It can be challenging to plan meals for our family, especially after work and school, before heading out to after-school activities. One way to help ease the stress is to plan your meals ahead of time. Create a week's worth of shopping ahead of time and plan meals, options for lunches, and snacks.
Planning ahead will help you save time when the new school year begins. Planning ahead will have you thanking yourself later.
I think we all feel the same about weekday mornings: we could do without them. Organizing your mornings can help reduce the stress early mornings can cause. You will be able to get everyone back to school with a considerably reduced amount of stress if you take the time to plan and organize your morning school routine.
Giving your children alarm clocks and having them get up on their own can reduce the times you will have to go into their rooms banging pots and pans to get them up. If they are old enough, let them have some responsibility for getting themselves out of bed.
Setting a morning routine will also help your child know what is expected of them before they walk out of the door. No more nagging and reminding them. Together, they go through the phases of a morning routine so that they know what actions are expected of them.
Try to get as much together the night before. Pack lunches, put out school clothes, and ensure shoes and socks are where they can find them. This can help cut down the manic mornings.
The switch from relaxing summer to school can be tough on both kids, and their parents and routines can assist in making the transition easier. Consistent and well-planned routines promote the development of good habits and stress reduction in both parents and children.
Misty Roussa is a Louisiana native who lives with her husband and two children. She has contributed to Red Stick Mom, The CF Foundation, and Cystic-Fibrosis.com. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading, listening to podcasts, or trying to cook something her family will enjoy. This is Misty's 2nd year blogging for SMMEIIS and digitally engaging with our community.