Back to School
We are as excited the kids are going back to school as they are dreading it! Going back to school is a relief but can also be stressful. Getting back into routines, making lunches, keeping track of extracurricular activities and so on can take a toll on everyone. Here are some tips for your family to get back into the swing of things:
- Set up a study space. Whether it’s a desk in their room or a corner on the dining room table, be sure they know that’s where they can do their homework. Have them get involved in setting up their own homework area so hopefully they’ll be more comfortable using it.
- Be available at homework time if possible. Sending them off to do their homework while you prepare dinner is great time management; however it doesn’t always work if they are reluctant to do homework or if they need your help. Set a homework schedule that works for both of you.
- Get the kids involved in making their own lunches. Ask them pick out what they would like to eat. Have them help you put their lunches together. This not only makes it more likely they’ll want to eat all their lunch, it also teaches them self-sufficiency and responsibility. And change up the old lunch basics. Make mini nutritious muffins (from a mix is fine) with their favourite fruit, dried fruit or seeds. Send pizza slices, mini tacos or mini quiches to school with hot packs in a container or wrapped in foil in their lunch bag.
- Have them do age appropriate chores. Doing well in school takes more than just studying and handing in assignments on time (yes, that’s important too!). Responsibilities at home can make them feel more grown up and they should be more settled to do their homework without needing you to nag.
- Extracurricular activities are important. Children need to be involved with other activities for good physical and mental health. Physical activity, in particular, will boost their strength, productivity and confidence. Additionally, it helps improve their social skills and respect for others.
- Teach them how to set goals. Help them select goals, both short term and long term. Then come up with a plan of action and show them how to track their progress. Part of success in the adult world is setting and achieving goals. They will gradually develop this skill which will set them up for future success. Be sure to keep it simple so it doesn’t become more of a problem than a solution!
- Set aside time for them to ease stress. They need to know that you are listening, supportive and willing to offer advice if needed. For the little ones, being away from you can be stressful for them. Even teenagers need comfort, affection and a listening ear at the end of a hectic school day. This one critical investment of your time will pay off in countless ways for the rest of your child’s life.
- Remember that this too shall pass. When the kids are fighting or you have too much to do in so little time, the stress can feel overwhelming. You may want to just lock yourself in the bathroom until the storm blows over (and sometimes that’s okay too!). But remember, one day they’ll be all grown up and making their own way in the world.
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