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Smooth Start or Bumpy Ride? 3 Ways to Regain Balance at the Start of the School Year

Posted by Dr. Ann Gatty

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?


About Dr. Ann Gatty

Ann Gatty, a life coach, inforpreneur, author and organizational strategist. She has taught in classrooms and organizational training sessions and now works as a life coach for professional and personal development. Dr. Gatty has developed curriculum for college courses, organizational training and personal development. From her work and personal experiences, she finds a continuous need among women, of all walks of life, to find a life balance between professional goals and personal responsibilities. Ann Gatty hosts a website,, which offers stress management strategies, life skill development, and a means of finding your true passion in life. She has also authored Discovering God’s Recipe for a Healthy Body, Heart and Soul. Ann Gatty earned a Ph.D. in Instruction and Learning from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education. She is married, the mother of two young adult boys, and shares her home with her husband, two Great Danes and a Bassett Hound.

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