It’s Back to School season, with the summer vacation coming to an end and classes resuming once again. It’s no surprise that the kiddies won’t exactly be thrilled about this. After all, who wants to go back to waking up early every weekday and spending the nights doing homework?
Back to School Blues is a real thing, the American Psychological Association even talks about it! But it’s not just the kids who’ll have to deal with the challenges of going back to school, their families have to adapt to the change in routines as well, and it’s the parents’ responsibility to help their kids cope. Here are a few ways to make this time easier!
Who better to tell you what’s up at school than your own kid? That’s a more reliable source of information than the PTA, which is really a useful network. But nothing beats sitting down with your kid and asking him or her how classes are going, what they’re up to with their friends, etc. After your own kid, other reliable sources include the teachers, your kid’s friends, the PTA, the principal, and so on. Even the bus driver can be a source of input. So be sure to keep open lines with them, especially when the kids are still getting back to school and adapting!
If there are any problems, then open lights of communication can help you detect them earlier and nip them at the bud, or give you a better and clearer picture to prevent misunderstandings. This is a win-win, preventative solution!
For parents who are either busy with work or just not morning persons, compounded with kids who want to spend a few more minutes rolling around on the bed, then it really helps to get organized. Make breakfast preparation easier by simplifying meals. Whip up sandwiches or try out foods that don’t need extensive cooking or any heating at all. Fruits, milk and cereals, and such are always good.
This can apply to the pack lunches and snacks the kids will bring with them, prepare these in advance and just stock them in the fridge. Be sure to keep them healthy even when you’re using ready made meals, avoid unnecessarily high sugar and salt levels, but pack enough nutrition so your kid won’t be dozing off in class.
Aside from meals, school supplies can also be pre-packed. Consider using different bags with books, pens and other essentials prearranged in them if your child has different classes each day, so both of you won’t have to fret for misplaced items at the last minute. You can also reduce your kid’s risk of back injuries by arranging the backpack to distribute the weight better, or removing unnecessary stuff and make the bag lighter! Make getting organized a habit as early as possible, when it’s still back to school season, so you’ll get used to the routine as the weeks go by!
Get Everyone In On It!
Feeling overloaded? Having a hard time handling the back to school rush? If you’re a mom, then break the stereotype of childcare as “mother’s work” and get daddy dear in on it too! Father-child bonding over school activities isn’t just for school sports. Why not let him help out with the homework or shopping for supplies? If you’re an over-worked single parent, then this will be especially helpful in lightening up your responsibilities.
Expand your support system beyond the immediate family, include the extended fam, relatives, friends and others. As the saying goes, it takes an entire village to raise a child! Whether it’s getting a know-it-all friend to be your kid’s tutor or other parents to arrange a carpool, getting more people to help out can make things easier for the parents and connect the family to a reliable support network. Knowing more people from a variety of age groups, from older kids playing sitters to helpful adult “uncles” and “aunts,” will be good for the kids too.
Enfavr is great for creating and cultivating a mutual support system. It can even develop into something like an extended family! Start a Trusted Circle for your PTA. Invite friends and other parents to Enfavr so you can help each other out with your everyday workloads!
And, of course, when you’ve got the time, be sure to return the favor to those helping you out!
A child’s education isn’t the sole purview of the teacher, most of the kid’s life will still be at home. So you can’t afford to be hands-off with your kid’s schooling. Be involved, attend the PTA meetings often, touch base with teachers, visit the school now and then. Don’t just see the principal only when junior’s in trouble! Seeing your child in the school environment will give you a better idea of what your kid’s going through. Get to know your child’s friends, and their parents too. This is handy for when the kids want to have sleepovers)! The benefits of these are obvious, for both the parents and their kids. It goes back to making connections, helping each other out, paying it forward and practicing reciprocity.
Set Time Off for Self-Care after the Back to School Rush
All work and no play is no fun and makes everyone and everything all dull, to paraphrase the famous saying. Many have been asking, “Are our kids getting too much homework?” Learning isn’t only done in a classroom. For most of human history school and classrooms didn’t exist, people naturally learned through play. So there’s no harm in setting a proper time so the kids can get away from all the homework and all the serious business. Just let ’em goof off, get active or just chill and… be kids. Be sure they get enough rest and sleep. Get together and just enjoy the weekends! That’s actually quite healthy and helps decompress the brain, de-stress, and will actually contribute to the kids’ performance when the weekdays come back.
This applies to parents as well!
Just remember, don’t be afraid to ask help from the rest of the family or the wider community! By planning ahead, working together and getting sufficient amounts of rest, you and your kid can weather the storm that is going Back to School. This is vital for the critical first days and weeks where you’re still adapting to the new rhythm. Things should get easier after the back to school rush, when you get acclimated to the new routine! Then you can start counting the days for the next holidays to have a well-deserved break – phew!