With the new school year underway, your child may be experiencing lots of excitement as she reconnects with friends and gets involved in sports or school activities. However, your child also may be experiencing waves of anxiety or stress as she embarks on this new academic year. Here are three questions I consider when creating a comfortable, memorable school year for my kids.
1. Establish a Routine. If you haven’t already, make sure to establish a daily routine for your school kids. (I like to get back into school year routines as soon as they step onto the school bus on the first day back to school, if possible.) For my kids, it’s more comfortable if they know when things are going to occur and what’s expected of them each day. We build in an allotted time for meals about the same hour each day, and we build in time for homework, when all is quiet in the house—or as quiet as it can be. I even recommend enforcing bedtime with your teens so your active kids don’t get run down with too little sleep. Also, I find that by creating a regularly scheduled meal time, I don’t try and squeeze a meal in between activities and homework. We all know the importance of healthy eating, and good nutrition can’t be overlooked for kids with busy schedules.
2. Limit Activities. Also be sure to ask yourself if you’re limiting the amount of activities in which your children can participate. Overscheduled kids become stressed kids with too much to do in too little time. I find that my kids tend to become short-tempered when they are feeling stressed, so I limit activities to one sport and one extra curricular activity per semester. I know it’s important to enjoy activities with friends and socialize outside of the classroom, but over scheduling for my kids produces negative consequences.
3. Check up on Your Kids. Thirdly, how are you monitoring your kids’ friendships and social activities? I watch who my kids are associating with, the amount of interaction on social networks and check for any signs of bullying or cyberbullying. Stopping such activities early avoids a lot of pain and suffering that can develop if left unchecked.
As the school year begins, I work to keep my kids healthy, happy and safe. Daily routines, realistic schedules and good friends go a long way in creating a memorable and successful school experience.
What tips do you suggest to help create a success for your kids?