This time of year, the carefree feeling surrounding summertime starts to fade as the new school year begins. For some kids, the start of school can come with stress and worry; and for all families, it means getting back into a more regimented routine of homework, getting everyone out the door at more precise times and packing daily lunches, to name a few.
To help ease the transition just a bit, here are some tips to try in the days leading up to the start of school.
1. Get to bed earlier
It’s easy to let hard and fast bedtimes fall to the wayside during the summer, but now it’s time to get everyone back on a school year-appropriate sleep schedule. If you start easing your family back into this routine in the week leading up to the start of school, that first early morning wake-up call won’t be nearly as painful.
2. Prep for the morning
Equally as important as going to bed on time is getting back into a school year morning routine. Establish a school-appropriate wakeup time, but before bed also spend time doing things to avoid your mornings being too rushed. Help your child lay out an outfit before bed, pack lunches the night before, plan for breakfast so it’s not last minute, etc.
3. Adjust your child’s eating schedule
For many kids, going back to school means eating on strange schedules. They might have an early lunch, or have to adjust to eating more in the morning to make it to snack time. Begin practicing for this at home so the real deal isn’t as abrupt.
4. Establish a back to school tradition
Host a last-day-of-summer cookout or hold a fun-filled family game night to help ease anxiety that may be creeping into your child’s mind as the school year nears. You can look forward to this tradition every summer!
5. Talk about what to expect
Help get your kids emotionally ready to start the school year. Discuss what to expect, and ask them what they may be excited or worried about so you can help address their fears.
6. Prepare to celebrate school year successes
Work with your child to create a board that can house shout-outs throughout the school year. Every time your child accomplishes something she’s proud of (working hard to study for a math test, being named a top reader, etc.), have her record it on a sticky note and add it to the board. Getting this ready before school starts sets the stage for your child to be excited to start adding to the board!
photo credit: Sai De Silva