With fall underway, many families are finding themselves out of sync as they shift back into school mode. Younger kids miss their friends or older siblings who have returned to the classroom. Even morning traffic is heavier as the weather gets cooler.
Whether your kids are in school or you are simply mourning the lazy days of summer, here are five tips for parents to make the most out of the change of seasons.
- Stay Positive
It can be very tempting to complain about going back to school. Instead, focus on what is positive about the change of seasons and the start of learning. The week before going back to school, our son started talking about missing his classmates, and we focused on how wonderful it would be to see them again. Also, instead of acting frustrated and harried, smile and be pleasant about back to school routines. When you as a parent believe and act like this is a wonderful time of year and that everything that is happening is a blessing, your kids will tend to take that perspective, too.
- Make Adjustments Quickly
You may already have experienced some negative encounters in the first few weeks of school. Use your negative feelings as clues to what adjustments need to be made. Would you and your child benefit from going to bed earlier? Burning off some energy right after dinner? Keeping the television off until the weekend? Thinking in terms of continuous improvement will also allow you to forgive yourself and your child for any clashes along the way.
Acknowledge the efforts of everyone in your household, even the baby if you have one. It is a team effort to make this seasonal transition as smooth as possible. Let everyone know that you appreciate them and that their success is cause for a celebration. Cheer and pat yourselves on the back, turn up the music and dance, or have a picnic or party.
- Make Time For Connection
Play time is essential to balance out more structured activities that fall usually brings. Visit a pumpkin patch, go biking, or simply cuddle up and listen to your child. By scheduling special time with your kids, you let them know they are important.
- Trust That Things Will Work Out
Things don’t always go the way we want. When you can stay optimistic and expect all things to work together for your good, you set an example for your kids to follow that will serve them as adults. You can set an intention for perfect attendance, good grades, successful events, or nice teachers, and release the stress from needing things to go “your way”. If they don’t, it’s still for your best.
Every day is an opportunity for growth for you and your child. I wish you all the best in your journey as a parent!