If you are anything like me, then you love the daily routines, structure and predictability that comes along with schedules. But, on the other hand there’s something so great about the Summer when these routines and schedules can be loosened up. It’s the ease of the summer days and not knowing exactly what is on the agenda each and every moment that gives us some balance. We all know once September hits we are back in full swing with morning routines to get us out the door, getting to school on time, drop offs and pick ups, extracurricular activities and homework. All of this tends to put us back into survival mode. In order for me to survive with sanity and enjoy each day as a parent I need my kids to be responsible for themselves and to help out. So, I am going to offer you 5 tips to help you get your kids September school ready so that you can ease back into the routines from the Summer.
Do you sometimes find that during the summer your kids start to fight more and the sibling rivalry increases? There’s a bit more eye rolling and back-talking from the older kids and for the younger ones the tantrums and crankiness is simply off the charts? Well, you’re not alone! With the lax mentality and less structured days and nights of summer our kids all get a bit “off.” More often then not, they are up later causing them to be over-tired and more irritable. They also aren’t waking up at the same time each morning, which causes their body clocks to go all haywire leaving them feeling out of sorts. And, as much as they enjoy the summer break, they begin to crave those daily routines, structure and predictability that comes with the school year.
Today I want to offer you 5 tips to start easing your child back into the school grind so that it’s not a complete shock to the system when September hits! Which happens to be just a few short weeks from now!
TIP 1: Start backing up bedtime by 5-10 minutes every 2 nights to help their bodies adjust to the proper bedtime. I know it’s light out and many kids are used to staying up later in the Summer, but trust me it’s much easier to put them in bed 5-10 minutes earlier every couple nights, then it is to throw them in bed 1-2 hours earlier the night before school starts! Also by adjusting slowly you will have less push back from your kids and they will be well rested by the time that first morning of school arrives. It’s a win-win!
TIP 2: Pull out those charts and routines to get their mind and body ready! To read more about charts and routines and how to create and implement them in your home click the link! Overall, charts will be your new best friend as they become the boss and you no longer have to be the bad guy. What the chart says goes and there’s no wiggle room!
TIP 3: Try planning morning activities each day from here until September, which requires everyone to get up around the same time each day and GET READY! The practice of trying to get out of the house on time will be much easier if you implement charts and routines and PRACTICE ahead of time! Your kids are capable of being responsible for themselves if you teach, train and practice up front. By doing this you will be able to stop the nagging and reminding all morning long and you will be able to enjoy the short time you have together before they are off to school each day.
TIP 4: Get back into those chores! Kids do better when they feel better and part of the reason kids get a bit out of whack in the Summer is they lack in areas where they get the opportunity to feel needed and capable. I am guilty of letting many of the chores slide in the summer, but I try to keep the core ones in tact: dishes to sink, laundry in the hamper, beds made, etc. But when it comes to dishes in the dishwasher, garbage pulled to the curb, table set, and so on, I am guilty of just giving them a break and doing more of those things myself. Giving them a break has it’s pros and cons. It’s positive as it gives them a chance to relax and be less structured, but it’s negative, as they begin to feel less capable and with this feeling it brings about more bad behaviours. So… start getting back on the chore train and get your kids feeling needed and useful and you will notice the negative behaviours starting to diminish. You will also get to the share the workload, which again is a win-win!
TIP 5: SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME TOGETHER! Get in some good one-on-one time together! Read, snuggle, do an arts and crafts activity, go for a walk and chat. Whatever your kids enjoy is the perfect thing to do! Put away your cell phones and give them your undivided attention and focus. Make them feel important by spending just a few minutes a day together without interruption.
These 5 tips combined together will set you, your kids and your entire family up for a smooth transition from summer break to school. Get a head start now and you will find your back to school days much easier to conquer!