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How to Get your Child Ready for Back to School

In our area, school starts early, during the second week of August.  It turns out to be a good thing though, because in our school district, they have more time off school at Thanksgiving and Christmas when other relatives and friends take off work and plan family events. 

These tips have worked for our family over the years and have proven effective for each of my eight children. 

1) Everything is Attitude. We’ve heard it many times, but it is true.  Attitude starts with Mom’s /Dad’s attitude and everything rolls from there! It also applies to back to school habits. It’s all in the way you think of things. You trade off a lack of routine with children bustling all the time, to a routine with a lot less commotion, so you’re able to accomplish more. You will be ready for the change once you start.

 2)  Start Changing Their Eating Habits. Unfortunately, summers are full of excuses, such as, it’s too hot to cook.  It is easy to have made too many trips through the fast food restaurant line and saturated our children’s diets with fat and sugar. Start trading all those in for home-cooked, basic, healthy meals that are good for their body and brains. Cut down on buying so much ice cream, fries, and sodas.  Our children are much better off with healthy foods that contain grains, fresh fruits, lean meat, and oatmeal cereal. 

3) Start Changing Their Schedule. Now is the time to start altering their schedule so the children will want to get up on time when the back to school schedule starts. Begin by waking children up ½ hour earlier and pushing the curfew back ½ hour earlier. 

This may be more difficult for teenagers, but you can always open their bedroom door and let the noise from family life trickle in and wake them up. My teenagers have always had a phone curfew too. A week before school starts, begin the back to school phone curfew. They might complain, but they will be glad when it isn’t so difficult to rise when school starts. Sorry, but this includes the amount of time they are allowed to watch television.  It is so easy to look at the clock and it is 11 PM already and the tv is still blasting away.

For younger children, it’s a good time to get the last sleepovers done and begin cutting some of the social events out, so things are more like the normal schedule during the school year.  Especially if they are participating in sports, this is really a necessity once fall sports practices start.  Because of the new exercise routine, they are so tired and they need added rest.

4) Get Them Excited and Motivated.  You can usually get their attention when you tell them we are going shopping or give responsible teenagers money to shop for school clothes (even if the budget only allows a few new things). It’s a good time for shopping as there are lots of sales now and school supplies can be purchased before they are all picked over.  If they know you are excited about them going back to school, because education is important, they’ll pick up your enthusiasm too.

 5) Let Them Know This is for Them.  It is much easier for Mom/Dad to avoid the “routine,” structure thing and keep on doing as usual, but it’s important for your children. Let them know this is for them. It will set them up for success in life when they have to hold a job or rise early to tend to their own children. Get into the back to school routine starting about two weeks from the starting date of school. You can do it. Have a good school year.

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Originally posted 2015-08-24 06:02:14.