There is no doubt that, for most parents and young people, the rush of back-to-school may present some challenges. Those last minute school supplies, getting the schedule organized, after-school care and activities…the list goes on.
Here are some quick tips to help ease the transition back into the school year and possibly reduce a little bit of the tension and anxiety of the coming school year.
- Reset sleep schedules two weeks prior to the first day of school.
During the summer months, sleep schedules tend to become less structured. Routines are not as pressing when the rush to school is on hiatus. When it comes time to return to school, it’s important that young people, and parents, are prepared in advance and give their bodies and brains plenty of time to get used to the school year routine.
- Let kids choose a planner or scheduling tool that they’re excited to use.
It’s challenging for a lot of parents to get their young people to actually use a day planner or like tool to stay on track throughout the year. It’s no secret that young people want to feel empowered to make decisions all by themselves. A simple way to meet them where they are at is to give them the opportunity to select a tool that will work for them as well as put parents’ minds at ease.
- Create a family calendar that tracks everyone’s activities and commitments.
Parents and young people are busy, busy, busy. Sometimes, a simple and accessible universal calendar can help the whole family stay on track and in-the-know.
- Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year. What’s allowed and when?
There is no doubt that electricity rules these days! The lure of electronic devices can be intensely distracting for all members of the family so it’s important to review and revise the family rules around how much TV is viewed during the school week, when time phones get shut down at night, and having a central location for devices where the whole family participates. Rules are easier to follow when leading by example.
- Establish a set “Family Time,” whether it’s during dinner or before bed.
Studies show that belonging and connectedness improves mental health and learning. It is generally thought that what happens at family meals, rather than the meals themselves, fosters this protective effect. If family meals are frequent and consistent—for example, five or more dinners together each week—mealtime can serve as a conduit for open, ongoing communication, a time when family members talk about their days.