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Create a rhythm to make the back-to-school season stress-free
Back-to-school time is undoubtedly a stressful time for parents. From prepping lunches again, buying clothes and school supplies, and keeping your kids healthy, it’s no wonder parents can easily get overwhelmed. To manage the stress before it starts, it can help to create a rhythm that allows your family to operate with less pressure, and more ease.
A look back at last year
Take a moment to reflect. In the past, what has caused the most stress during this time of year? Do you anticipate that some things will be harder than others? What have you learned from past years? How can you be less emotionally reactive than last year? How can you go from being overwhelmed to feeling empowered? You have the tools to make this happen. When you change your thinking, you can reduce your stress and continue to be the awesome parent you are. Think, fewer routines and more rhythm for your family.
What is the most stressful time of day for you? For many parents, this time is the morning before school. The chaos of getting the kids ready, preparing a healthy breakfast, keeping track of time so you are not late, waiting in the drop-off line, not to mention getting yourself ready, can be overwhelming. Is this true for you?
Think back to all the times in the past where you had back-to-school patterns that did not serve your family. What are those daily routines or habits that make back-to-school season harder? What were your primary frustrations?
Create a plan
Write down patterns from last year you wish to improve. When you write down a goal, you’re more likely to reach it. Devote some deep thought into how you can be more proactive about planning for those hard moments?
For example, if your unhealthy pattern is to rush in the mornings, what are some things you can do to prepare the night before? Some examples might be, pack lunches the night before or empower your children to lay out their clothes the night before. If your unhealthy pattern is letting your kids procrastinate on their schoolwork, you can help your child by asking them to take out their homework when they get home so you can see what is due right away. Then set a timer and dedicate an allotted amount of time to homework before any other activities. You might want to buy a calendar and write down all important dates like tests and project due dates.
Starting this school year by planning and being proactive can create a positive learning environment while bringing some order into your home. It can be so freeing to create these healthy rhythms for your family and soon enough, it will just happen naturally with practice and consistency. It can be easy to fall back into routines that no longer serve your family and if that does happen, you can reflect on your patterns and refer back to your plan. You got this!