Back-to-School Season: Creating a Better Routine for
submitted by Ashley Taylor
It will also help if you ease your child into it all. Attempting to have him change his activities and bedtime the night before school starts will likely only lead to disaster. However, by starting the changes a little ahead of time, you’ll be helping him adjust slowly, which will reduce stress at the same time -- for everyone.
Keep reading for some tips on how to create a better routine for your child when school starts.
The first place to start when school is coming up is to organize your home and schedule. Invest in a good planner or a magnetic calendar for the fridge, where you can write down all your commitments and keep the kids’ activities straight. Create an area in the foyer or hall where they can place their coats, backpacks, and shoes so that everything is ready to go in the morning. The more organized you are, the easier the transition will be. Decluttering all the living spaces at the same time will help your child sleep better, as it’s a huge boon for mental health.
Create a Bedtime Routine
The better the bedtime routine, the easier it will be for your child to get accustomed to getting to sleep at a decent hour and waking up early. Start by setting a bedtime and adhering to it. About 20 minutes before that time, have the kids brush their teeth, go to the potty, get their pajamas on, and take care of any other end-of-day activities. Read together or have snuggle time, then lights out. Make sure your little ones stay off smartphones, tablets, and computers, since these emit a blue light that can have a negative effect on sleep. The right bedroom design can help greatly with getting better sleep, such as removing the television. Go here for some great info on how to make a bedroom even better for rest.
Give Your Child Options
Most parents are very familiar with the morning struggle: you choose an outfit for your child to wear, and he contests it vehemently. You make eggs for breakfast, he wants cereal. This can make for a very frustrating start to the day, but you can avoid those arguments by giving him choices. Pick out a couple of acceptable outfits and allow him to choose which one he wants; give him two options for breakfast so he’ll be happy with what he gets.
Talk About the New Routine
Talking about the upcoming school year with your child -- and letting him express his worries and fears -- will help both of you when it comes to reducing anxiety. If possible, let him take a tour of the school ahead of time so he can familiarize himself with where everything is. Set up playdates with neighborhood kids his age so he’ll see some friendly faces on the first day. The more you can help alleviate his fears about starting school, the easier it will be for him to get through the first week, and getting rid of stress will help him sleep easy.
Creating a better routine for your kids during the school year will cut down on stress for everyone in the household, and it can also help them perform better in class. Make sure they’re getting at least eight hours of sleep at night -- and preferably nine -- in order to help them make the most of the day.