Going back to school can create a lot of stress in the family home that can be avoided with establishing a good routine for the mornings and after school. Here are some tips to help reduce stress on school mornings and create a calmer home.
School mornings begin the night before:
Allow each child to choose some small chore they can do to help get out to school without too much to do. Set the breakfast table, lunch’s planned and maybe some pre prepared uniforms, shoes, and PE equipment ready.
Never do for a child what they can do, or learn to do for themselves
Take the time out to show them how to do things, children love to learn as long as you are patient and encouraging –it’s worth it in the end; when your 7 year old is making her own lunch!
Stress Free Bedtimes
Children love routine so the importance of developing routines for a stress free back to school cannot be overstated. A set bedtime with a leisurely wind down helps. Avoid stimulants (hot chocolate/TV) before bedtime and your calmness helps get through the ‘teeth/wee/story time’ without conflict. Let them choose their own fun alarm clock which makes getting up easier.
Get up half an hour earlier for calm and stress free home
Parents time and time again tell me the difference it makes when they have the extra time to find the tie or shoe or deal with a child who is being difficult. The alternative is getting stressed due to rushing and racing and perhaps a child going into school upset
The importance of sitting down together as a family cannot be overstated. Research shows that children who enjoy a regular family mealtime are less likely to engage in smoking, drinking and drugs and they have fewer mental health problems. Bulk cooking helps, so my
Spaghetti Bolognese was cooked in bulk so next weeks is already in the freezer as well as the makings of lasagne for midweek!
Starcharts are great to encourage children to help out, it works better if you allow them to choose a chore and acknowledge effort and encourage them.
Homework requires effort to establish a good routine. What works for me is to prepare a snack and my daughter eats it as she completes her homework with a bit of chat beforehand. Again, acknowledge your child’s efforts and be patient and have a bit of fun with the homework. Children love to learn as long as the parent does not get cross or critical.
Take care of you
In order for you to take care of everyone, it’s crucial to take care of yourself, take some time out for you, to help you manage stress. The more you are relaxed and happy, the better things will be between you and your children. Treat yourself, meet a friend for coffee, and go out for a walk in the evening. I find the nicer I am to me, the nicer I am to my family!