Summer isn’t just a break for children from school-related schedules and tasks. It’s also a parenting vacation of sorts. Not having to ready lunches, put out clean and suitable clothes, or get to the bus on time gives parents a welcome breather. With summer waning, you don’t necessarily have to hold your breath again. These back to school tips for parents can help you negotiate the upcoming semester.
1: Organize School Clothes Before Labor Day
There will be plenty of back to school sales, and parents are wise to pounce on the savings. But too many adults set these items aside until school begins. Take the time to organize drawers and closet space exclusively for school items. The space currently used for summer attire can transition to play and after-school clothing.
2: Connect with Other Parents
Unexpected logistical problems are a common occurrence during the school year. That’s why being proactive and connecting or reconnecting with other reliable parents is so important. Creating a network of people who have children in the same school allows you and others to deliver support when necessary. Start in late summer but don’t hesitate to reach out to other community members later.
3: Meet Your Child’s Teacher
Teachers are tasked with a great deal of educational responsibility. It takes them time to get to know your child’s strength, weaknesses, and personality. Taking the time early in the semester to make their acquaintance adds to a robust dynamic between all of you. Meeting the teacher also helps open up communication channels that can make the school year easier.
4: Talk to Your Child About School Each Day
Many parents are all-too-familiar with the response that “nothing” happened today at school. Of course, we all know better. There was reading, writing, arithmetic, recess, and lots of minutiae. Starting a daily dialogue may feel like pulling teeth in September. However, establishing communication about daily school activities can keep a lot of things on track that could go awry.
5: Set a Nightly Routine
Today’s parents face the difficult challenge of setting bedtimes and then enforcing them. Just about every kid has a reason to stay up a little later. Those arguments are mostly non-starters. Without a good night’s sleep, your child is more apt to underperform in school.
While bedtimes work best when they are set in stone, the rollup to lights out has become increasingly difficult for parents. Electronics are a significant distraction and tend to hype school-aged kids up at night. Restful sleep generally requires weaning them off electronics at least a half-hour before bed. An hour may be better.
6: Define a Homework Station
Disorganization breeds inefficiency and kids will leave all manner of homework necessities strewn about the house if you let them. By designating a specific space to do homework each day, much of the disorganization can be limited. Having a spot for homework may also help your children transition into work mode easier as well.
7: Start a Healthy Snack Station
Another challenge parents face is getting kids to eat right and avoid sugar. Whether it’s high fructose corn syrup, straight sugar, or caffeinated beverages, these products cause erratic highs and lows. Nutritious foods can help your child keep an even keel when studying. Consider putting out a bowl filled with healthy options.
8: Start the Day Well
Preparing kids for school takes more than just waking them up on time. There are a lot of moving parts to a good morning that include brushing teeth, eating a healthy breakfast, and getting to the bus on time. Consider putting together a weekly itinerary regarding breakfast menus and differing logistical issues, among others. By putting this schedule out for all to see, kids will know what to expect and that reduces disorganization, debate, and tardiness.
9: Take Time for Yourself
The school year definitely increases stress and anxiety for parents. Taking time to ground yourself is never more important. Whether you do yoga, meditation, or go fishing to clear your mind, put such mindfulness activities into your weekly schedule and stick to them. You’ll be a more attentive parent for following through on your own well-being.
We hope these back to school tips for parents are helpful as you negotiate the coming year. And, may your children enjoy learning and achieve their unique potential.
This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be nor does it constitute legal advice. Any recommendations are based on opinion only.