Back to school time is always more fun for parents than for kids—after all, you don’t have to find a babysitter all day, your kids are progressing on their path toward learning important skills, and you can have a little time alone… or not. In fact, the start of the new school season can be one of the most difficult for kids and parents alike to handle. Your child may not have many friends in her class, may not be catching onto the multiplication tables, or may have decided that his teacher would do a better job working with prison inmates than with children! Suddenly, there are mountains of homework, play dates, calls from teachers, conferences… can’t summer come back?
Fortunately, those “back to school blues” can be remedied! Here are our top five ways to help kids—and mom and dad—deal with a turbulent new school year.
- Communicate. Talk with your kids, their friends, their friends’ parents, teachers, assistants—if someone is in contact with your child, see how they think things are going. Don’t forget to offer assistance if you can. Sharing carpool duties or volunteering to read to the classroom may be a bit of a hassle, but hopefully, someone will return that favor. Best of all, it gives you more time with your child.
- Make time for fun! With so much important school work to do, your child is probably craving a good time. Set up a play date, take her to visit a great children’s spa in NJ, or simply organize a new and exciting game for everyone to play.
- Rest and relax. With all the fun they’re having, your kids won’t know what to do! However, relaxation is important. Whether your child relaxes best by listening to a story, going on a walk, or getting a mani/pedi or facial at a children’s salon, find her favorite activity and encourage it—or join in!
- Work with routines. Adults often find routine boring, but most children find it comforting. Whether you work with little routines, like a morning or bedtime routine, or schedule your whole day, routine can help your child manage time effectively, plan his day, and feel more in control of his world.
- Let it go! Sometimes, you’re just going to have a hard day. Maybe dinner doesn’t happen in time for your “starving” child, maybe homework is just “stupid and impossible,” or maybe everyone just needs a nap—focus on letting your child know you love and appreciate them, and let the small things go. As a rule, if you won’t remember it in five years, it’s probably not a big deal.