Back-to-school changes parents' routines too

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens, Teens, Day Care & Education, Bedtime

Shortly after school let out last spring, our schedule began to slide. The kids' normally strict bedtime began inching back, and now they're often up with us enjoying the sweetness of the late summer evenings. The flip side to this, of course, is that they sleep in until 8:30 or 9 every morning... sheer indulgence for this mom of early risers.

Our summer been decidedly unscheduled -- no day camp, no babysitters, no classes or sports, save for some evening swimming lessons. After a long winter of endless colds and flus and a hectic spring, we were looking for something a little more low-key. But as I settle back to enjoy a morning of sunbathing with book in hand supervising them in their wading pool, I realize that not only do I have a lot of work to do to get them ready for fall, I need to prepare myself for the culture-shock as well.

Changes in schedule can be stressful to a family, even families who stayed on a regular routine all summer. Kids have new classrooms to adjust to, new friends to meet. There are extra-curricular activities and carpools and homework. Life just gets busier, and whether you're a parent who juggles family life from home or from your 9-5 job, those first few weeks can be kind of overwhelming.Parenting.com has 55 smart ways to get set for school, and many of those tips are not for students, but to help Mom and Dad start the school year off on the right foot. Some of my favorites include:
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier than everyone else in the morning, for a brief minute of peace before the day begins.
  • Delegate morning chores amongst your children, to lighten your own load.
  • Make the morning routine fun and playful to reduce your own stress, which is sure to rub off on your kids.
  • Don't be afraid to make changes. When your routine isn't working, examine it to figure out how to make things go more smoothly.
I know I'll miss our long, lazy summer days, but back-to-school will bring a new energy to our household. How is your schedule going to change when school starts in September? How will you deal with the changes in your own routine?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.