Kids and parents alike have the best intentions when it comes to making this year the best school year ever. September ranks pretty highly for creating feelings of new promises and starts for a lot of people. As the days cool and the sun goes to bed earlier, the fall leaves usher in a return to back to school routines. We all want the new school year to go smoothly. But for many children, settling into back to school routines is not easy. When kids have difficulties adjusting to new things, it puts stress on parents and creates chaos in the home.
How can we get our kids to settle into back to school routines in a way that is not disruptive to everyone else in the house? What can be done to ensure emotional upheaval can be kept to a minimum? Is there hope for the frustrated parent who just wants their kid to relax and enjoy the changes that come with back to school?
Back To School Routines Are About Setting Expectations
A lot of what causes emotional disruptions for kids who are resistant to change is not knowing what to expect. Sudden changes without much notice can cause some children to cycle into an emotional tailspin. This is especially true for young children don’t have the communication skills to say they are frustrated. Instead of words, it ends up looking like temper tantrums.
If your child is resistant to change, try sitting your child down and discussing the new changes before hand. Be prepared to sit in a quiet, calm environment and come ready for the discussion. Put the phone down and don’t address any other concerns while you are in the middle of talking. This is about transitioning from summer break to back to school routines. Stay on topic. This will help keep you and your child centered on the issue at hand instead of getting sidetracked.
Create A Plan For Success With Back To School Routines
The best strategy for getting kids on the same page as the parents is coming up with a list of rules for how to make it all work. Many households have set bedtimes for school nights. Some children resist set bedtimes in general and especially when they suddenly change to an earlier time with back to school. Set your back to school bedtime but also make a getting read for bedtime time. Suddenly interrupting kids in their activities to quickly get ready for bed is not setting them up for a good night. Instead, pick a time they know is the time to put toys and crafts away so they can begin winding down for bedtime. Calm kids are kids who have an easier time getting to sleep.
Make sure that your child has their homework done, lunches packed, and backpacks ready to go well before bedtime. Being prepared for the next day, well ahead of getting ready for bed, eliminates last minute drama before bed. If you want your kids to feel more settled with back to school routines, help them formulate a plan for being organized. An organized kid is a calmer kid.
Helping kids stay calm when routines change has a lot to do with diet as well. Kids who eat an unbalanced diet experience many disruptions to their digestive system that can create behavior issues as well. Focusing on a balanced diet that is low in sugar and processed foods during the week may help keep your child better able to deal with stressors like back to school routines. Avoid sugar and caffeine before bedtime. Sodas contain a lot of sugar, and some contain caffeine as well. These ingredients should be avoided before bed and during the week when a greater focus on attention is needed at home and in school.
What To Do When All Else Fails With Getting Your Child Adjusted
We hope that these suggestions for getting your child prepared to deal with back to school routines was helpful and getting the family back on track for the new school year. Chances are, one or more of these suggestions might have been needed. If you are still experiencing a disruption in your home over back to school routines, there may be other factors that need to be considered besides organization and a proper weekday schedule.
Children are facing additional stressors this school year. These extra changes to their learning environment may be adding to your child’s resistance to adapting to the new school year. If your child is having outbursts that are not part of a regular behavior pattern, or if they are not sleeping well, a call to the school’s guidance counselor may be needed. Your child may need extra support in school to help with the back to school routine changes necessary to prepare them for success.
ABC Women’s Center is here to help families to adjust to new changes in their homes. If you need guidance on getting the skills needed to parent with confidence or you need help finding nutritious food resources, we are here to help. Contact us today for an opportunity to help your family with what is needed to create a more confident home environment for everyone.