For many of us, school started today. Some kids were already back last week. This brings a myriad of emotions for both parents and kids, although vastly different ones to be sure!! How can we make this year successful for our kids? For the lucky ones, repeat what was done last year. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. For some of us, we may have to tweak a few things. For others, a complete overhaul may be needed.
I have spent the last month in my practice helping kids and parents gear up for a successful school year. I thought it would be helpful to share some things that can make a positive impact.
- ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE! Have a place for everything so you are not searching for items at the last minute. This also ensures your kids know where everything is expected to go.
- PREPARE. Whatever you and your kids can do the night before, do it! This means making lunches, signing permission slips, putting everything back in the back pack, grabbing sports equipment or musical instruments, boots, mittens, show and tell item, whatever, get it together and put it by the door.
- SET THE CLOCK AHEAD. My personal favorite. I set the clock ahead 10 minutes, so we are not late.
- DON’T OVERSCHEDULE. Nothing creates more stress in a family then everyone on a hamster wheel. The younger your kids, the fewer extra-curricular activities they should have. Down time is important too.
- ROUTINES. Have a routine in the morning before school, a routine for when homework will be done and a bedtime routine. NOTE: Some kids need a snack and some down time right after a full day of school. While you may want homework done the minute they walk in the door, they may need some time to decompress.
- SLEEP AND NUTRITION. These are two things many kids and adults do not get enough of. Start the day off with a healthy breakfast. If you kids have trouble eating early in the morning, pack a protein bar. Make sure they are getting the recommended amount of sleep for their age.
- TURN OFF THE ELECTRONICS! Social Media has been a huge topic of discussion this summer. SET LIMITS AND STICK TO IT!!!! More on this topic later.
- COMMUNICATE. This is important to do both with your child and your child’s teacher.
There are many other suggestions that can make the school year a success. There are always bumps in the road. Attitudes come from the top down. Parents can positively influence their kids learning by helping them with concerns, boosting confidence and a “can-do” attitude and partnering with the school.