Back to School: Morning Routines
After a long lazy summer most parents are wondering how they are ever going to get their school age children back into the routine of getting up and out of the house for school. Here are a few tips for an easier transition.
Two weeks before school starts (or as soon as possible if time is short), insist that your child wake up earlier. Set an alarm. The first few days set it just a half hour earlier allowing for a gradual change. If your teenager has been staying up until 2 AM all summer, start waking him at 9 AM instead of letting him sleep until noon. After a few days, set the alarm to whatever time they will need to get up for school.
Designate an area of your home for backpacks and items that need to be ready for school. Especially for children in the primary grades, it is important to check backpacks daily for stray papers, notices from school and homework assignments. Some parents find it helpful to pack the car the night before.
Make school lunches at night. If you’re using food that keeps its freshness, carrot sticks, peanut butter, etc., make a couple of day’s lunch packages to simplify the work week. Many children would be happier and healthier with last night’s pasta and salad instead of a pre-packaged lunch chocked full of salt and preservatives. Schools don’t have room to refrigerate lunches so use insulated lunch boxes to keep food safe. If sugar makes your child hyperactive, do your child, his classmates and his teacher a favor and save sweet treats for at home.
Finally, try to keep your child’s morning consistent. To relieve stress, take time in the morning to discuss plans and expectations for the day. Driving to school or walking to the bus can be the best bonding time in the world.
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