The first few days back to school are the most difficult for everyone. Even if you have everything in place, there is still some disconnect between good intentions and reality. Here are two ideas to help you get into school mode as painlessly as possible.
A solid morning routine is the best way to get on track fast. Wake up at the same time and follow the same plan every day. A consistent agenda every morning, until the family is out the door, cuts down on guess-work. If the same things happen in a pattern every morning, there is little room to forget items or for fooling around. Make lists and post them where you can refer to them as needed. The lists help to remind you of the routine. If your child is old enough to have their own list, encourage them to plan their morning. If your child is not able to read, a list made of pictures will help them stay on track. You can keep reminders in the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, by the back door, and in the car. A routine allows your child to practice independence and show responsibility for themselves and their school things.
Going through the same motions night after night also helps your family get on track and easily transition into a school rhythm. While this may take a few weeks, patience is the key to making any routine stick. A night routine also allows you to plan some one-on-one time with your child and catch up on the day. Ultimately, the time at which your child goes to bed is the most important part of this routine. Strictly enforcing a bed time sets the stage for success the following day, while keeping your frustration to a minimum. Pick out books ahead of time and utilize a timer during evening baths. This keeps you focused on bed time. Eliminating the guess-work for your child is the easiest way to cut down on tantrums and fights.
Having an air-tight routine does not eliminate difficult nights. I like to think of a routine as a living being. It changes and grows with your needs. Time and consistency aid in getting the family comfortable with any new routine. Get older kids involved by asking them for their input in making and keeping a schedule.
There are many ways to keep a family schedule. Family-specific suggestions may help deal with particular issues. I would love to provide more specific tips for your family!
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