A little bit of preparation can go a long way in the facilitation and simplification of a (relatively) low stress school year! It is all about repetition and setting clear expectations, both for yourself and your kids. Here are our five top tips for a smooth transition. As my sister always says, remember the 6 Ps: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!
1 ESTABLISH GROUND RULES
Nobody likes surprises. Articulating firm guidelines and consequences beforehand can alleviate future turmoil. It is logical parenting.
2 CREATE A CENTRAL CALENDAR
This could be a monthly paper calendar that you print or a virtual google calendar as they get older. All family and school events could be listed so that everyone is on the same page and can SEE it. (Remember the old saying, A picture is worth 1000 words?) Cozi family organizer is another tool, and check out this great article with a list of other helpful tools.
3 SET UP HOT SPOTS
- Repetition is crucial
- Have a ‘going out’ spot for next day items, i.e., where backpacks are organized and ready prior to bedtime
- Homework stations that are quiet and well lit, with trash bins
Speak with your child the way that you would want to be spoken to. Limit distractions such as cell phones. Ask the questions that might be difficult.
5 PRIOR PREPARATION
Prepare as much as you can the night before for the next day. This can make mornings much smoother for everyone. If you wake up BEFORE your children and get yourself ready first, this can also help you stay focused and present with them. (Remember the oxygen mask on the airplane?)
Remember to choose your battles wisely, trust your intuition, and be ever-vigilant!
- Follow through
- Attend parent teacher conferences
- Watch for signs of depression & anxiety
- Use two ears and one mouth accordingly
- Have the talks that might be difficult
- Rise and get ready before your kids
- Be a united front with your co-parent
- Forgive yourself and laugh
- Remind your kids that you are human
- Say sorry when you mean it
- See things through their eyes
- Let them fail once in awhile
- Take a deep breath and count to 10
- Celebrate the little things too!
•Self belief and confidence
•Empathy for others and for issues
•Spirit and individuality
•Problem solving techniques (don't just give the answer)
•Healthy coping mechanisms
•Getting enough sleep and eating healthy
•Saying "my child would never..."
•Comparisons with siblings, good or bad
•Threatening in anger
Simplicity Parenting By Kim John Payne
Mom’s Who Drink and Swear By Nicole KnepperGet Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the MallBy Anthony Wolf The Toltec Wisdom Book: The 4 AgreementsBy Don Miguel Ruiz