Back to school time is both exciting and stressful for parents and children alike. Here are some useful tips to ease the transition back into the groove of school.
Regulate your days (and nights)
Summer tends to throw everyone off their normal routines in some capacity. Whether it be having to get the kids up earlier than normal for basketball camp, or going to bed later at night to fit in those regularized family movie nights, back to school usually requires a little readjustment for daily life. Make sure to stick to a regular sleep schedule, with set bedtimes and wake-up times, to give your child (and yourself!) the best chance of success.
Limit Screen Time
In 2019, it’s next-to-impossible to keep your kids away from the screen entirely, whether it be time spent on TV, social media, or video games. This can get in the way of schoolwork (both in school and at home), sleep schedules, and attention span. Encourage your child to spend less time on the screen and more time in the learning mindset by encouraging them to read more, take part in club activities, sports, and other growth opportunities. Keeping their screen time limited will also encourage them to socialize with other kids, making friends to ease some of that early school year social anxiety.
Get Organized and Prepare a Homework Station
Organization is critical for both materials and routine. Having a dedicated space for schoolwork along with regularly scheduled times for completing it will help build great work ethic and accountability. Make sure to keep all important papers around this area, or in another accessible, designated space. Whether the workspace is the kitchen, den, or living room, having a collaborative space for both you and your child will bolster their success. Additionally, you could create a rolling or otherwise mobile supplies station with important materials like scissors, paper, writing utensils, and glue. Efficiency is key!
Get Wellness Checkups
The school year starting means your child is encountering lots of new germs that they likely weren’t exposed to over summer. You should make sure your child has all the vaccines they need, as breakouts with these diseases are not uncommon in schools.
In addition, if your child is into sports or other physically demanding activities, it’s wise to get regular physicals to make sure they’re healthy enough for the sport, or that the sport isn’t adversely affecting their health in some way. Some of these signs are quite difficult to see with just observation, so it’s best to talk with a doctor.
Dealing with College Bound Children?
Seeing your child off to college, while fulfilling, is one of the biggest life changes that the both of you will ever experience, and perhaps the first one that you don’t have much control over.
Make sure your now-adult child is versed on basic skills that you may have always done for them, such as laundry and cooking. They also are likely managing money and paying bills for the first time, which can be very difficult and confusing. Make sure to give them lots of guidance and relevant resources here, such as helping them set up a detailed initial budget.
You should also set up normalized check-in times to video call or otherwise talk with your child; they miss and need you just as much as you do for them. Prepare care packages of easy-to-prepare foods and comfort snacks. Especially if they are living in the dorms, quick food will be a lifesaver.
Whenever your child is home from college on their breaks, think about planning some unique activities or vacations that the family will always remember. Quality time means extra much when you don’t get unlimited access to it like when your now-adult children were younger. Forge those special family bonds even stronger with unforgettable moments.
Take Care of You and Your Spouse
Your kids are the most important part of your life, but you need to be happy and healthy yourself if you want to give them the best support you can! Make sure to get some alone time in with your spouse, whether it be on a date night or spending the evenings watching a new show you’ve both wanted after the kids go to sleep. Host fun get-togethers with your friends while you hire a babysitter to stay at home. Take a bath every other day while you sip on some local Asheville wine. Always give reminders to your spouse with how much you appreciate them, whether it’s their favorite candy or elaborate dish. Happy parents mean happy kids!