Cincinnati Family Magazine

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June 14, 2024

Getting Back in the Groove

School is starting back this week for my daughter. But, I’m afraid that I have been a little behind on getting her back into her school-time routine. Take going to bed, for instance. She has her summer bed time and a school bed time. If she doesn’t get to bed right when she needs to, this 6-year-old little girl is a great example of having to wake a teenager to get motivated for school. My children LOVE to sleep, and they HATE being made to get up before they are ready.

So, now that school is back, getting the routine back in place is on the top of the list … along with a few refreshers to get her brain juices flowing. This will usually get her excited about starting school. She loves to learn new things, but sometimes doesn’t even want to try. I can grab her attention for just a few minutes each day before she gets bored with me.

To help her get back into the groove of school, I am going to establish a new plan of action. I am going to try to have her routines set in place at a certain time each night, write them down on a board and set the time for each next to them. It can be a game of sorts, too. I could ask her at a random time when is it going to be time to clean up, go to bed, etc. Here are the routines I plan on utilizing:

5:00 p.m. — Weather permitting, playtime outside is a great way to have fun … and use up some of that energy. I know that my children sleep more soundly after having a great time outside each day. The more they stay couped up inside doing nothing, the more energy they have when bedtime rolls around — making it harder for them to go to sleep. So, why not let them use up all the energy they can playing outside? Just don’t let them over do it, or they will fall asleep at the dinner table.

6:00 p.m. — Dinner. Sometimes kids are to hyped up after dinner that they can’t go right to sleep. So, having dinner early will have them settled down by that time.

6:30 p.m. — What to wear. Allow your child to help get the next day’s clothing out. She will feel more confident knowing that she helped.

6:45 p.m. — Pack lunches. If your child takes a lunch to school, preparing it the night before, and allowing your child to help, makes things go easier in the morning. I know that when my daughter helps make her lunch, she’s a bit more excited to eat it when the time comes … because she is proud of what she can do.

7:00 p.m. — Cleaning up for bed — bath, teeth brushing, etc.

7:30 p.m. — Story time. My daughter loves to pick out her own books. If you have more than one child, be sure to allow them to pick a book of their own. I always tell my daughter that if she wants more than one book read, they must be short ones. Otherwise, we would be reading all night long! LOL. So, have each child pick a short story and read together as a family. Our 2-year-old son loves this time, too.

8:00 p.m. — Bedtime, and this is the kicker. It needs to be the same time every night — even on weekends.

There! Now that I have a plan in place, it’s time to create a board at home and set things in motion. My job is to keep it going and stay on track.

About the Author

Kiera Ashford

Kiera Ashford is the Managing Editor of Cincinnati Family Magazine, and a mother of two.