In our house, summer was one big playdate without enforced bedtimes and scrambling each morning for camp (we are NOT a morning household). Come the first day of school none of us were prepared, couple that with an earlier start time for the bus and we were in a tizzy. Great advice below from BFC resident social worker, nanny coordinator and all around great gal, Ali Shepard….
It’s that time of year again as the kids are slowing getting back into their school routines or starting school for the first time! A time of vast transitions for many families and keeping parents, kids and caregivers happy and sane can seem impossible. Here are some simple easy reminders to help your family get back in the swing of things and set everyone up to win with less bedtime battles and flustered mornings rushing to get everyone where they need to go!
- Be realistic and patient
- Keep it simple
- Make a plan and stick to it
- Get the kids involved when transitions happen children often feel that they do not have control. Find ways where your kids can be part of creating the schedule
- Use picture charts for children 2-6 years old as a way to empower them to get their “jobs’ done (Betimes and morning routine) then then can earn a reward. Rewards can be playing a game, reading stories together, playing on the computer, watching a short TV show, or playdate etc. Use these things as motivators not just givens.
- All children need down time. Build it into the schedule.
- Children can feel overwhelmed when there are a lot of adults telling them what to do. They to keep the talking and number of adults to a minimum.
- Avoid frustration and upset by being matter of fact and flat with your emotion and reactions
- Set limits, when you say no, mean it
- First things first. Children need reminders/little nudges. Use less words.
- Make it fun and keep your sense of humor
- Get support/be a team
It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out, especially when dealing with so many moving parts and changes. Remember that children are not little adults, their brains are not able to understand the world like we are. We have to role model the behavior we want to see from them. Enjoy the time you have and find creative fun ways to tackle the day to day routines.