Depending on where your kiddos go to school, their summer days might be drawing to an end sooner than later. While most schools resume after Labor Day, some get back in the swing in August, and others start as early as July. If your school system falls in the latter camp, you need to get started reestablishing the school rules of your routine -- stat!
Realizing the Root Strength of Routine
A rock-solid routine is absolutely essential to rocking the school year from the very start. The details driving your routine are like the roots anchoring your schedule, no matter which way the wind blows. While it’s tempting to celebrate summer with lazy days and a devil-may-care approach to dedicated bedtimes, running from reality too long will catch up with you.
When families fail to prepare for the school year, they run the risk of increased struggles with expectations. As too many of us know, these struggles often manifest as defiance, Oscar-worthy tantrums, and all-around apathy about school, homework, and extracurricular activities.
Bedtime is the baseline of effective routines for children. You can even start the bedtime process by encouraging activities like choosing outfits the night before and either making or setting out lunch components ahead of time. In addition to these broad strokes, pay attention to the finer, day-specific details. For example, is gym on Tuesday? Make sure the sneakers and appropriate clothes are packed in a bag, ready at the door the night before.
Ditto any after school activities -- sports, chorus, drama -- you name it. And whatever IT is, make sure you model packing and preparing, accordingly, ahead of time. Remember, the routines you demonstrate now will prove invaluable as your kids mature and encounter more responsibilities with each passing grade. This is a learned habit, a lifelong skill your kids need to master in order for them to succeed in school… and beyond.
You’re their first teacher. But, as the saying goes, “it takes a village.” So, if you’re struggling or have already experienced difficult behavior from your kids this summer, don’t wait a moment longer. Enlist the help of your tribe and be proactive about putting your best foot forward, so that your kids can confidently follow your footsteps.