How to Beat Back to School Battles August 31, 2017
As the long stretch of school summer holidays finally come to an end, thoughts turn to the new term and getting into the back to school mode. The stresses and strains of a new academic year can be just as difficult for parents as it is for kids. Here, we share the best back to school tips so you can steer clear from tears and tantrums.
1. Start bringing bedtimes forward
A long summer can knock routine out of kilter, so make sure you get the kids into good habits a week or two before term starts. Tucking them up 15-30 minutes earlier each night will mean you won’t have to worry them falling asleep at the breakfast table!
2. Plan ahead to stay ahead
Stick up a big calendar up in the kitchen with all school dates, extra activities, birthday parties, play dates, music lessons etc. Being forward-thinking will help you to move easily from a slower holiday mode into full-speed-ahead term time mode and allow you to get on top of things like packing sports kits the night before.
3. Prep as much as you can the night before
Get clothes out ready the night before and leave in a neat pile ready to dress once breakfast has been eaten.
The same applies for all bags, keeping them in the same place so there’s no last minute scrambling around the house! If you drive to school, it might be a good idea to put the bags in the car.
If your kids take packed lunches to school, make sandwiches the night before and put in fridge overnight. Snacks can be boxed up and refrigerated too!
4. Early bird catches the worm
Set the clock 15 mins early so you leave on time. Get yourself dressed before getting the kids up – if you’re telling them off for being in their pyjamas when you’re still in yours you’re fighting a losing battle!
5. Make mornings your friend
Having some sort of morning routine will help you manage potential morning meltdowns. Let them choose their breakfast the night before, but be sure to know time limitations and offer limits (cooking a stack of homemade pancakes every day just isn’t realistic…!).
6. Have set nights when homework is done
A recent survey by tuition service Explore Learning found a third of children struggle to cope with the reintroduction of homework after the holidays. Give your kids ownership over their homework. Let them pick when they are going to do it and when they’ll get to play or see their friends. This way they will feel like they’ve got some control over the situation.
7. Use a star chart
There’s no doubt about it, kids respond well to rewards and treats. Use a gold star chart to incentivize cooperation in the mornings by awarding gold stars for things such as getting ready without moaning, helping siblings and so on. The incentive can be something like Friday DVD night: the child with the most stars at the end of the week chooses the film, second place chooses the snacks etc.
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