Heading back to school isn’t just an adjustment for our kids, it takes a toll on parents too.
New routines, new schedules, new friends, new classrooms, new expectations… the checklist is endless. To soften the blow of the first day shock to your system, I’ve come up with a list of some of my favorite back to school hacks for kids… but mostly for us parents!
- USE A CALENDAR: This might sound like a no-brainer, but I believe crossing out days on a paper calendar that really makes Back to School feel more real. Your children will also be better prepared for school when they can visually see when school will starts. For some, it’s this week or next!
- BEDTIMES: Children will need some time to get back to the sleeping routines they had before. To make this transition easier, bump up bedtime by 10 minutes starting the week before, that way it’s not a total shock to their system when they have to go to bed an hour or so earlier than what they’re currently used to.
- PREP THE NIGHT BEFORE: Try to do this for the first week or two of school, even longer if you can! Help your children lay out their school clothes, decide what will go in their book bags and maybe even do some lunch box prep. Make sure they know what shoes they’ll wear, etc. This will help cut down on some of the back to school jitters and anxieties they may have. Not to mention any additional stress that comes in the morning of not being able to find socks. Oy.
- EXPECTATIONS: Older children will already have set themselves expectations they want to achieve at school for the year. But become involved! It’s helpful to ask them what they expect about returning the upcoming year. You can also grab a book at the local library for kids about Back to School that way they are more open to talking about their feelings and nerves.
- REMIND THEM YOU LOVE THEM EVERY DAY!: This might be more challenging for my older son, but my daughter LOVES getting little notes in her school lunchbox. I usually tell her how much I love her, how proud I am and what she has to look forward to after school. She loves it! Also, when they get home from school… greet them with a smile and a “I’m so happy to see you!” Do this before asking how school went and what happened, etc. That way they don’t feel like their first interaction with you is a task list.
Remember, your kids love you and want you to be involved with their lives. Happy back to school to all the kids out there and parents too!