Unless your child is heading off to Kindergarten, the words “Back to School” are probably music to your ears. Summer is great, awesome actually, but kids get bored and parents get burnt out. Lack of schedules, lack of sleep and just lack of a everyone having a break from each other. I can understand why year-round school programs have been so successful. Despite the shift in the earth that occurs as the kids head back to school, you can make a smooth transition from the lax rules of summer to the realities of the school year. It just takes a little planning.
First, don’t over-schedule the kids, or yourself, in the first few weeks of school. Yes, I know sports are starting up and you’re itching to tackle tasks you didn’t get to over the summer, but give it a few weeks. The kids need some time to establish new relationships with their teachers, learn the homework routines and basically settle in. You need to give yourself time to adjust too. If your kids are on the younger side, their homework is your homework too.
Second, do as much of the “first day of school” as you can before the first day of school. If you’re able to attend open house, this is a great time to bring in all of those school supplies you bought, ask questions about homework schedules/expectations and learn about your teacher. Knowing how the teacher expects things to operate can make a HUGE difference in how successful your student (and you!) are in the first few weeks of school.
Third, set the scene for successful evenings. Don’t plan to come home and cook a “from scratch” meal every night the first week of school. Like I mentioned before, your child is going to be navigating new waters, new topics and new people. Have what you need on hand for quick, but nutritious, meals the first week and spend more time talking about their day, working on their homework and less time trying to get dinner on the table.
Fourth, don’t try to be a hero. You don’t have to be a ‘Pinterest Mom” making packing visually stunning lunches or sign up to a “Room Mom” if your plate is already full. Doing things out of guilt only leaves you frustrated in the end. While doing what you can to help your teacher and make school as great as it can be for your kid is awesome, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you can’t be “that” parent.
Fifth, don’t wait until the night before school to start enforcing new schedules. I don’t just mean bedtime. If you’re going to have to rise and shine earlier than you have all summer, give yourself a few days, even a week, to adjust. The same is true for bedtime. If you’ve been letting the kids stay up until 10 or 11 every night, it will take a few nights for their bodies to adjust to an earlier bedtime. You too! You may have a little trouble falling asleep the first few nights, but there’s help for that.
Natrol Melatonin is a drug-free, non-habit forming way to fall asleep and stay asleep. I’ve been using Melatonin (even for the kids) for years. We all have times when we have trouble falling asleep. When that happens, you can reach for the purple bottle (there are several options depending on your needs – Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve and Natrol Advanced Sleep Melatonin are my favorites!) and be fast asleep in about a half hour. Grab yourself a $2.00 coupon here and pick up the best Natrol Melatonin product for you when you do your back to school supply shopping.