Moms…you made it through! Summer’s out and school is finally in!!!
Back to school is filled with many emotions for moms and kids alike. Though the beginning of a new school year can be filled with excitement, it can also be coupled with a lot of anxiety and stress.
What we know is that summer is associated with freedom and therefore it generally tends to defy all the structure that the school year brings about. Summer means kids stay up and wake up later, hang out in their PJ’s for the majority of the morning, take longer naps in the afternoon, eat meals at different times of the day and discontinue any sort of academic activities (i.e. reading, writing, review, etc.). Because of this, when school starts many moms and kids find the transition back to be an absolute killer. This week I’m hoping to help ease the transition and get your kids on track before the first day begins. So moms…use this week wisely.
To start – wake your kids up every morning this week at the time they will need to be up for school. Yes…that’s right. Set their alarms and get them moving! We want to begin to regulate their systems for the school day ahead. Note that an early morning rise leads to a tired child and ultimately an earlier bedtime, which is key for school functioning. Even if you and your kids have nowhere to be this week, make sure they get dressed, brush their teeth/hair, make their bed and eat breakfast just as they would if school was on. If it takes your family ten minutes longer than you thought to get everything done in the morning, you know than that wake up should be ten minutes earlier when school starts. Adjust the wake-up time to limit morning time constraints.
An important tip to remember when getting back into the school routine is that the morning list of things to do should always be less than the evening list. This is because the mornings are shorter, kids/moms are tired, the school bus or carpool is waiting, moms got to get to work, etc. Any added stressors can set off the morning routine so minimizing is important here. Remember…sending your kids off without conflict in the morning makes for a more successful school day. Keeping this in mind, make lunches in the evening not the morning; shower/bathe your children in the evening not the morning; pick clothes out in the evening not the morning; check homework in the evening not the morning; sign school letters in the evening not the morning – got the idea??
As well for this week, slot in a reading/writing time that would occur after the school day which will transition into homework time once school starts. Get your kids used to doing something academically-related in this time-slot everyday and then reward them for doing it with what they love…TV, PSP, playing with friends, whatever!
Also…for those of you who are anxious yourselves or whose children are anxious about school beginning, use this week to celebrate the start of school. Model for your children that school is something to look forward to. You can have a daily countdown that can be done in a chart form, or a fun song/dance that you do to acknowledge the happiness that school brings – get creative! If you are at ease with the transition, your kids will be too.
So tighten up this week – get school on the brain and in the bodies of you and your children and send me your feedback on how it’s going.
Kyla’s column will appear on urbanmoms.ca monthly. If you have questions for Kyla please share them in the comments below or send Kyla an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will select a few to respond to in her next post. If you or your family need specific information from Kyla, check out her website at www.kylafoxtherapy.com.
Disclaimer: The advice given by Kyla are merely suggestions for addressing personal problems/situations. It is not guaranteed to ensure change or success, as there are many ways to address the questions posed. Be advised that implementing Kyla’s strategies and following her suggestions is done at your own discretion. Kyla is not responsible for any outcomes that may come from following her advice.