Back to school can be a stressful time for both parents and children, but with the right mindset you’ll be able to cope, and even enjoy it. Here are some survival skills you can employ starting today.
Just because summer is over and school is in session doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Be sure to set aside some time each day to do something fun together. Together is the operative word, as more and more often we’re spending our “fun time” on our phones instead of as a family.
The fun activity can be something as simple as a family board game, a walk in a park, or play time with the family pet. Anything to take a break from homework and to remind everyone that you all enjoy spending time with each other.
How to reduce extreme stress from back to school time? Realize that things will only be like this for a short time and try to embrace it in the moment. Kids are only young for so long, so it's important not to let stress get in the way of enjoying this time.
There are certain elements you can't control, such as what time school starts and how this gels with your own work schedule. So focus on the things you can control, such as your attitude towards the school system, or how much homework help you can provide.
If you got into the habit of staying up late during the summer, it’s time to start getting to bed earlier now that the alarm goes off so early. You can’t get anywhere near the recommended amount of sleep if you’re going to bed after midnight and waking up at 6am.
Tip: If you try to suddenly go to sleep two hours earlier than before you’ll likely lay in bed with your eyes wide open. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you’re getting the right amount of sleep again.
One aspect of summer that is hard to shake is its unstructured nature. Getting back into the routine of school can be tough, but if you establish a set schedule early it will pay big dividends as the school year rolls on.
Set up times for homework, dinner, and bedtime and do your best to stick to those times. You might miss the mark a few times at the beginning but if you keep striving for it you will hit it. If you don't have something to strive for, things will run amok and you will have homework that needs to be done well past bedtime.
One of the best ways to cope with stress of all types is to exercise. But with the added burden of getting everyone to school on time, making sure homework is done, and adhering to bedtimes, exercise can be pushed to the back burner.
That's why part of the schedule you establish should include time for you to exercise to burn up stress and stay fit as the winter months set in. See if there are other parents that you could exercise with to help you stick with it.
With these tips you’ll take control of the situation and be the best version of yourself the whole school year long.