Back to school is a time of excitement for some and anxiety for others, but it is an adjustment for everyone!
Here are some tips to make the transition a little easier for everyone in the family and to keep yelling at bay:
Get clothes and meals ready the night before versus scrambling in the morning. Make a habit to leave clothes in the same spot every evening so kids aren’t searching for socks as you’re trying to head out the door in the a.m.
Grown-ups – have a drop spot for things you grab as you go out the door like your keys, ChapStick, sunglasses and wallet. Don’t spend precious time searching for these items ever again!
–Use visual reminders
Use a calendar to mark important days like project due dates or when junior needs to bring in snacks.
If your child is always dragging their feet to get ready in the morning, try setting a timer instead of continually nagging. “I am setting the timer for 5 minutes, and you need to be dressed when the alarm goes off.”
–Sometimes, options help
Don’t we all like to feel in control of our own lives?!
Do you have a child who is answering every one of your requests with a “no”?
Test out giving them an option. Instead of “eat your breakfast”… try “would you like to eat pancakes or waffles this morning?”
Have a kid who only wants to wear their beloved favorite shirt? Try showing them two other options. This isn’t a one solution fix all answer, but it may help make mornings run smoother if your child is feeling rushed, stressed and out of control.
–Give some positive feedback
Positive affirmations make us ALL feel good. When you’re stressed it is so easy to see the negative and complain. Take the time to compliment your kids on the little stuff. Did they finally put their shoes in the right spot? Did they help unload the dishwasher? Did they get themselves an afternoon snack? Seeing your children do the right things makes you feel like a confident parent and hearing praise will encourage children to continue the good behavior. See the positive, compliment it and don’t sweat the small stuff.
–Be consistent with bedtime and homework times
Sleep is important. Make sure your kids are getting enough sleep for their age.
For homework, each child is different – some may thrive in the morning before school, others want to get it over with right after school etc. BUT pick a productive time and stick to it.
–Balance school, work, relaxation and extracurriculars
Find some outlets for fun! We all need to de-stress from our obligations, so find what works for you and make time for it. A hot cup of joe, a bath, a quick jog around the corner for the grownups … sports, music, theatre, gaming for the kids – whatever gives you joy!
Work when you’re at work and do your best to keep work at work. This may be easier said than done. Try to make tech free time each day during story time, meals or plan a fun family game night! Be present in the moment and enjoy time together without your child having to call for you 20 times before you look up from your phone. Undivided attention from someone you love feels good! Spend quality time with your family and look for the good.
Amanda Hayward and Craig Dobson from Beech Acres Parenting Center offered up terrific tips on how to manage emotions in “Stop Yelling,” read more here: