5 Ways to Make the Back to School Transition Easier
Back to school means back to a routine.
That shouldn’t be code for ‘back to chaos’. And, depending on how busy (or not) your summers are, the back to school transition can be brutal. Take the time now, while things are still a bit laid back, to clearly define what you need from the kids as they head back to school.
Check out these 5 steps to ease into your back to school transition…
Work with your kids to write down the order of the morning routine:
- What needs to happen (get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, leave house)
- What time does each thing happen
Once this is written down (use pictures for little kids), your child can now tell you what needs to happen in the morning without having to read your mind. Rather than bossing your kids around, you can ask, ‘What needs to happen now? What’s next on your list?’
Put your children’s schedule on a calendar so that they can see the time they have for fun, scheduled activities, homework, and chores. When it is written down, it is concrete and easier to understand. This gets rid of the ‘There’s not enough time’ panic.
Your kids also need enough time for sleep. If they wake up at 6:30 or 7 am, they need to be getting to sleep (not just starting bedtime routine) ten to twelve hours prior to that depending on their age. Check your child’s sleep needs here.
Kids need to know that they have a purpose and responsibility in the family. Maybe this is the year that they pack their own lunch for school. Will that happen the night before or will it be added to the morning routine? If they aren’t ready to make lunch, they can certainly clean out their lunch boxes and pack their own backpacks.
Take time this month to clearly define your child’s chores, and then to teach the chore by doing it with the child and then allowing the child to do it more independently. Be sure to explain at what time and what day the chores need to happen and hold your child accountable for this. This teaches them that you mean what you say.
If you don’t know what you expect, how can your kids? Take some time to clearly define what you want, then you can let them in on the secret and the family unit will run more smoothly.
Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to chaos. Have a plan, make sure everyone knows it, and follow through for a seamless back to school transition.