Going back to school every fall can be a time of rocky transition. For kids, it means seeing their friends again and learning exciting new things. For parents, however, it means frequent battles with upset children over early mornings and homework. Here are some tips to help parents ease everyone back into a structured routine and keep back-to-school disasters at bay.
Parents have to keep track of complex schedules consisting of school meetings, functions, lessons, and appointments. Not surprisingly, forgetting something on that schedule can be a nightmare. So, Organized Home recommends keeping track of all your events on a large, centralized paper calendar in your home.
Early school mornings are often chaotic as everyone frantically searches for the items they need for the day. To avoid this, designate a place for everything so you know exactly where to look. Store school supplies on your child’s homework desk, and keep important forms, umbrellas, shoes, and homework near your front door so you won’t forget them. Make sure these storage spots are at appropriately accessible heights and locations for both you and your children.
Set Up an Inviting Homework Space
A well-designed homework space can help your children stay organized and maximize their productivity. According to SheKnows, parents should set up this homework space in a low-traffic area of the home that they can monitor, such as a quiet corner of the kitchen. Make sure there is plenty of light to reduce eyestrain during your child’s studies. Good organization is key to efficiency, so keep your child's homework area well-stocked with essential supplies. This will prevent your kid from wandering around the house looking for the tools they need. Importantly, provide healthy snacks and build breaks into your child’s homework times to prevent burnout.
Make Sure Your Kids Get Quality Sleep
If your child is having behavioral or school performance issues, it may be sleep-related. Kids who don’t get enough quality sleep often have problems with concentration and mood. With the sudden leap from lazy summer mornings to early weekdays, it’s difficult for kids to get the amount of sleep they need to function optimally. Fortunately, you can help your kids get better sleep by easing them into an early schedule well before the first day of school. Stick to this early sleep schedule even on weekends. Don't allow your kids to have screen time right before bed, as the blue light emitted by devices can disrupt their quality of sleep. Finally, start a bedtime routine for you and your children to help everyone wind down at night.
Avoid Tantrums in The Morning
One of the biggest back-to-school problems that parents deal with is cranky children. You can help them get up in a better mood by letting them wake up naturally. Try turning on their bedroom light or opening the blinds about 10 minutes before they need to get up. This can help them transition from sleep to wakefulness more gently and naturally. Also, give your child goals to accomplish each morning with subsequent rewards, like more TV time if they get up at the designated hour.
Getting your young ones dressed in the morning can be a major power struggle. To avoid this, try to keep an organizational system with sorted outfits for the days of the week. Let your kids assemble their favorite outfits and create an album of them. Knowing that they had control over choosing these outfits will make your kids less likely to protest.
Be Prepared to Deal with School Refusal
Does your child have a tantrum when you try to get them to go to school? This may be an indication of anxiety-fueled school refusal. Have a talk with your child and see what’s bothering them. Make sure you avoid lecturing them and instead look for causes of their anxiety. Don’t assume that their school, teachers, or classmates are to blame, but you should certainly address any concerns about bullying if you need.
Back-to-school time imposes a sudden change to the schedule and responsibilities of both parents and children. Although many people struggle with the transition, it doesn’t have to be a chaotic mess. By being prepared and staying organized, parents can avoid early morning tantrums and homework disasters.