The start of school year is exciting. New backpacks, new lunch bags, new schedules, new resolutions for moms like me trying to work a little more, stay healthy, find time to exercise and time to shop.. and for some (maybe most moms, I think) there is some sadness, too. I should know…6 years further along now than my very first year as a mom of school-age kids, and I think I have finally figured it out. Here’s my best advice on how to be brave and rocking a smooth start to your school year!
1. Wake Up Early
Not a morning person? Get over it. It’s the only way to survive and stay sane. Be the first one up, have some coffee, plan your day, meditate, shower, just get your groove going first.
2. Wake Your Kids Up Early & On Schedule
It’s true, all that grown up stuff about being consistent and waking up slowly, your family will be better by doing this. Happy music, a good breakfast, and plenty of time to wake up and get going should keep them perfectly alert and ready to work by the time school starts.
3. Embrace What’s New
Talk about what is going to be new this school year, and make sure you include something for you, Mom. A book club, a yoga class, an online course or a new creative project that feeds your soul. Something new and different, talk about this with your kids and what new things they will be tackling at school. The more you talk about it, the more comfortable you will all be. New school, new schedule? Do a trial run. Drive the route to school, walk the schedule on campus. New lunch hour, food plan? Try this at home first. Test out new snacks, sandwiches , even a new schedule during your week of school.
4. Play, Play, Play With Your Kids
Ditch the lists during the last couple weeks of summer. Don’t succumb to the back to school rush. Play outside longer, go to the movies, play in the pool- just be playful while the kids around to appreciate. Your dog won’t appreciate your playful spirit once they are back at class . ( Trust me. )
Without too much preparation, talk about school and any sensitive scenario’s you think you’re kids might encounter, and then talk through how to handle them. What to say if.. role play and consider different situations and what the appropriate response might be. Anything goes here, from a tummy ache, to a forgotten lunch, to no one to play with and even the not so nice kid on the playground.
6. Talk Tech With Your Kids
First off, make sure they remember your phone number and the best place to reach you by phone in case of emergency. Many school nurses will encourage an older child to place the call to Mom, make sure they know the back up plans too in case you don’t answer. Talk tech limits, cell phone in the car, before or after school? Texting? Tech time before homework? Set the limits in advance.
7. Share The Love
At home, not on the school sidewalk ( yes, my kids are older now). Start by telling them how much they’ve grown this summer, compliment them on new skills, remind them how much they have grown since the start of school last year. Hold them tight, and sneak kisses if you can during this conversation. Your words are empowering and will build their self esteem, remind them ( and you) how ready they are to go back to school, and above all, be brave! Set a great example.