Summer is almost over. And even if you don’t have kids, the start of a new school year often feels like the right time to start a new routine. Traffic patterns change (and intensify) around the beginning and ending of school days. And the days get shorter, and the sun starts rising later and setting earlier.
Suddenly, the days of sleeping in, spending time in the water and going to bed late have to come to an end! And although getting your kids adjusted to a new schedule and back on track can be challenging, the predictable repetitiveness of it will be beneficial to everyone. Here are some tips to get your family back into a routine.
Restart the Routine Early
Don’t wait to reestablish old routines the night before school starts. Instead, take a full week to get back into certain good habits. Set your alarms and enforce earlier bedtimes. Lay out clothes the night before, and get back into a cadence of eating your meals at the same time you do during the school year.
Use a Calendar
If your summer was calm with an empty schedule, the school year can hit you like a ton of bricks with important dates and deadlines to remember, from homework assignments to school events and after-school activities. A shared, centralized calendar can help you stay organized and on top of things. Consider using a digital calendar that you can access on your phone, and color code activities for each member of your household.
Have Empathy and Enthusiasm
Both kids and adults have to juggle a lot of information in their brains right as school is starting, so understand it may take a while for your child to feel happy with the new routine. Don’t be negative… have a tone of excitement when you talk about new routines. Also, be mindful of the challenges and hang-ups you know your kids will face. Have patience with your late sleeper or the child who is constantly losing their backpack. Stay organized, supportive and prepared so you can help your kids get in the groove.
Trust Your Teachers
Creative, experienced teachers are ready to help your children, but it has to be a team effort. Practice good habits at home that are reinforced at school. Talk with your child’s teacher to see if they have any tips or tricks if there are areas of behavior that need to be addressed.
You’ve got this! A little preparation will go a long way toward ensuring that the transition back to school is a smooth success.