Less Hurry, More Happy – A Calmer Approach to Back to School
It’s coming. (Well, for some of you it’s already here). Back to school time is JUST around the corner.
And just before the craziness hits with homework and after school activities and play dates and lunch making and snacks, let’s take a moment to think about how we can make our homes a calmer place for our families.
I’m all about making things easy. The less complicated the better. And here are my top tips for making an easy transition to the school year and a calmer school year throughout.
Beat the summer jet lag
Let’s admit it, bedtime routines may have gone out the window over the past few months. It’s summer – we’ve all stayed up a little later and slept in a little more.
But that 10 o’clock bedtime will soon be 8 or maybe even earlier depending upon the age of your kids. Just like adjusting to jet lag, it’ll take a few days to adjust to a new bedtime.
A week before they start back at school, start dialing back the bedtime until you have a couple of nights bang on before their first day. Send them off well rested and ready to learn.
Any school friends that they haven’t seen over the summer? Arrange a play date or two before school starts.
Banish the phrase “hurry up”
I’m a Type A mom with a Type B daughter. I’m all about getting things done and she’s all about enjoying the process along the way. I’m embarrassed to admit all of the times that I’ve said “hurry up” on school mornings. Not the most pleasant way to start your day!
Take a few moments on Sunday night to chart out the week ahead for all of you. Play dates, activities, school drop offs and pick-ups – plan it all. And get up a little earlier during the week to minimize the morning rush.
Make a backpack landing strip
Do you have someplace to put your keys when you walk in the door? A place to stash the mail? Figure out the same for your kids and their backpacks.
When they arrive home, have your kids empty their backpacks and put them away. Then drop the lunch bag off in the kitchen. They can wash their hands and be ready for a snack.
Fuel for homework and play
Sugary snacks have their place – it’s childhood, there are going to be treats. But our kids need a proper snack to give them the energy and good mood to handle their homework and after school activities. Think a bit of protein (cheese or nuts) and some fruit (apple or orange or grapes).
Having our kids happy, well rested and fueled with good food will give them the best chance at academic and social success in the new school year. What tips do you have?