Back to school is the kick off of fall and brings the start of many after-school activities. This time of the year can be exciting and full of energy. It may also be dreadful for both children and parents. Not many parents cherish the thought of forgotten textbooks, missing permission slips, making lunches or lost backpacks. For many children, success is dependent on their ability to effectively manage the stress of the morning routine. For both parents and children, having to deal with morning chaos can throw everyone off course.
Does your home look like ‘school’ exploded all over it? Then it is time to address the chaos!Click to tweet
So what can you do?
Enlist everyone’s help in establishing a smooth morning and evening routine. Decide what needs to be done, who can do it and who is responsible for it. Even small children can make sure that the dishes are removed from the table when they are done eating, or that the dog bowl is full or that their teeth are brushed before they put on their shoes. Check out these additional tips and strategies.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resiliency and Reducing The Chaos:
- Post a calendar of all weekly or monthly events and activities. Predictability helps to relieve anxieties. Be sure to discuss any implications that these plans may have with the whole family. Include any quizzes, projects and tests along with adequate preparation time. By visibly seeing what needs to be accomplished for the week ahead, students can plan to complete tasks accordingly.
- Take into account each child’s differences. Consider how long one can spend studying before becoming overwhelmed. Most students will be more efficient by taking short breaks when studying for a long period of time.
- Do not over-schedule their time. If it starts to look crowded on the calendar, it is probably going to increase the difficulty in transitioning from home to school to activities.
- Rise early enough so there is enough time to complete all morning tasks. Allow time for the ‘sleepy heads’ to properly get into gear. There is no more stressful of a task then trying to rush someone who is not fully awake.
- Parents – Go to bed early enough in order to get your 7 – 9 hours of sleep before you have to start your morning routine. Get everyone their own alarm clock – no matter how young they are and set it religiously. This can help to deflect any annoyance that may be felt away from the parents to the inanimate alarm clock. Ensure that children are getting their 9 – 11 hours of sleep.
- Prepare the night before by packing bags, loading the car, picking clothes, and setting the table. Listen to the weather report to ensure that you have the right clothes for the day so that time isn’t spent trying to find the rubber boats. Help your children to develop a checklist of things that they are responsible for doing or collecting before they go out the door.
- Have an ‘inbox’ for permission slips, notes from the teacher or notices of special events.
- Establish a ‘drop zone’. Have a set place for everything so that it is all easily and predictably found. Set coats within easy reach for younger children. Car keys and backpacks should always be placed in the same spot.
And finally, keep a sense of humour. This is not the time to panic, get angry or impatient. It sets an awful flavour for the rest of the day. If things do go wrong – discuss them later that day when the chaos has subsided.
In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Deepak Chopra
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If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!