Back-to-school time can be stressful and hectic for kids, and let’s be honest…for parents too. As families prepare to head back to school, parents may be feeling overwhelmed by the pressure that comes from managing their family’s needs in addition to their daily work and household responsibilities.
Here are five ways to ease the stress of back to school for parents and help the entire family make a healthy transition from the lazy days of summer to the structure of the school year.
1. Establish routines: Before summer comes to an end, start establishing everyone’s school-day routines to avoid shocking the system when that first day arrives. Establish a bedtime and morning wakeup times, set a regular meal schedule, and develop a daily structure with homework, sports, other school activities, and downtime. Getting everyone acclimated to the new routine well before the first bell rings will make the transition back to the school year easier.
2. Divide and conquer: Get everyone in the family involved around the house. Share in the daily responsibilities by setting a schedule of tasks that each person in the family is responsible for, as well as when they need to be completed. You could even plan out meals for the week and on the weekends and get the entire family involved in preparing them.
In a perfect world, everyone in the family would chip in and help, but we all know that sometimes we simply run out of daylight. As hard-working parents juggling many responsibilities, sometimes you just need a little extra assistance with the day-to-day, and that is where we can help. We provide family home care services that are customized for your specific busy family’s needs, including:
- Running errands, such as picking up dry cleaning and prescriptions
- Help with laundry and light housekeeping
- Grocery shopping, meal planning and meal preparation
- Transportation to and from doctors’ appointments (for adults 18 and older)
- Organizing mail and paperwork
- Cleaning out and organizing closets
- And so much more!
3. Stay connected: As a family, make sure to set a specific time each week where you can all hang out together and enjoy dinner, watch a movie or go for a walk. Designate times that are activity-free (and tech-free) so that you and your kids can relax and take a breather. For the kids, make plans to get together with other children who are in their class so that they can build friendships and have someone to sit next to at lunch. For the parents, schedule time to hang out with friends, have a date night or just enjoy a moment of quiet me-time.
4. Get organized: Lifestyle expert and mom of seven, Jenny Reimold, has some great organization tips. Before the kids go to bed on a school night, have them pack their lunches and backpacks while you’re getting your lunch and workbag together too so that everyone can avoid forgetting things during the morning rush.
On Sunday, have everyone in the family start planning out what they’re going to wear for the week. Organize outfits in their closets by day to “give them, and you, a sense of control and helps ease the pain of a stressful morning routine of trying to figure out what to wear.”
5. Watch and listen: Once the school year is underway, schedule time each day to check in with your child, and with yourself, to make sure no one is feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. Not all children, or adults, express stress in the same way. Make it a point to be available to actively listen to any of your child’s concerns and be sure to offer a helping hand when the time is right. Talk to your family doctor if the stress levels or issues are more than you or your child can handle.
Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to the crazy life. By establishing a routine to your family’s work and school week, you can ensure that everyone has a successful school year.
Share how you get yourself and your family ready to head back to school. Comment below or join our conversation on our Facebook page.
We are proud to CHAMPION the family caregiver, offering empathy, advice, and support for those who provide countless hours of care to their loved ones. At FirstLight Home Care we want to provide a helping hand, relieve some of the stress that comes with caregiving and give you back a few hours in your overwhelmingly busy day.