It’s that time of year again. When the groans of children are met with the cheers of parents, it can only mean one thing: kids are going back to school. Shifting from the laid-back, breezy days of summer to the hectic pace of fall can be a challenge for many children. The thought of returning to the old grind of homework and after school activities can be daunting, but there are ways of easing your family back into it. Here are some tips for making the transition a little smoother:
1. Re-establish a routine
We all know that the rules bend a bit in the summertime. Heck, sometimes they go entirely out the window. Bedtimes get later, TV allotment is extended, and sugar intake goes up (the ice cream truck is an essential part of childhood after all). As hard as it may be, go ahead and start reigning things in as the first day of school approaches. Gradually begin pushing those bedtimes back to where they should be and get the kids up at least a little earlier so it’s not as much of a shock when 6am rolls around. It’s also a good idea to try to get the entertainment and sugar consumption in the normal range. It may be tough, but implementing these changes before school actually starts will make things easier in the long run.
2. Let your children shop with you for back-to-school items
Many parents like to leave the kids at home during shopping trips. It’s often easier to manoeuvre the aisles alone than it is to incessantly hear “Mum, can I have this?” and “Please!!!!!” However, when it comes to picking up gear for the new school year, it may actually be a good idea to let them tag along. By letting your kids have some say in what they’ll take with them, you may generate some excitement about returning to the classroom. From backpacks and lunchboxes to pencil pouches and outfits, a little input can make all the difference. They still may not be running to the bus stop in anticipation, but it may make things more bearable if they know they have some cool stuff to take with them.
3. Maintain a positive attitude
Try not to let your kids buy into the typical view of dread. Often parents try to remind their children about all the fun things they’ve done over the summer. Perhaps they feel this will bring about some feeling of satisfaction. Unfortunately, you’ll probably just end up making them lament the loss of fun summer days and evenings. Instead of concentrating on the past, help them focus on the future. Look at the school calendar for various upcoming events that they might find enjoyable like back to-school block parties, or if they’re a little older, dances and football games. You can also plan some exciting new activities for your kids to participate in this fall, like karate, ballet, or music lessons. By getting them interested in what’s to come, you may find they’ll start to look forward to school starting back up. At the very least they might not feel such a sense of impending doom.
Getting your children back into the swing of things is never easy when school returns to session. However, putting these tricks into practice can help your family minimise those back-to-school “blahs.” The kids still might not cheer as loud as mom does when that first school bell rings, but there will likely be less complaints and fewer headaches for you as they begin the new school year.