Settling Into The School Year & Creating Routines

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As we enter a new school year, it can feel a little daunting.

There are a lot of sudden changes in schedules, and it can feel abrupt. We want to remind you to focus on easing back into it all. After a summer break, it can be challenging to adjust routines and get comfortable in a new flow that works for each child, as well as the whole family. 

While it may not happen overnight, gradually finding a new routine is key – because when kids know what to expect and know what’s expected of them – they tend to feel more relaxed and confident in what’s to come. 

Here’s some things we’re keeping in mind as we approach this year’s back-to-school transition – 

Be Flexible.– The most important thing is to be flexible, because every child is different. Just because one kid likes to be involved in a lot of activities, doesn’t mean all your kids will. If one of your kids loves bringing their own lunch, the other may not. Be open to asking questions and listening to each child, to find out which approaches and types of routines will feel best for them.

Get Plenty Of Sleep.– Summer nights tend to get a little extra extended and bedtime often lands a little later than normal with the extra daylight. Gradually ease everyone back into an earlier and more consistent bedtime. This will ensure your kids have enough rest to focus at school, and it will also help you, as parents, fill your tanks for all the additional action that lies ahead.

Get Organized.– Oftentimes, getting things in order the night before another school day can help everyone get out the door easier the next morning. Prepare lunches and pack backpacks during the evening before bedtime. When you build this into the routine, it’s a simple addition that can help reduce extra chaos each morning.

Allow For *Failure*– While you may be focused on helping your kids find their groove as they enter this new school year, remember that it’s ok if they flounder. Maybe they forget their homework, maybe they don’t eat their lunch and feel extra hungry at night – let your kids feel the basic consequences of these actions, and they will learn at their own pace. Help them understand that it’s a process to find their footing amidst this new routine, and stumbling along the way is OK.

Don’t Forget To Have Fun!– Over the summer, there is often a big focus on fun – from swimming and beach time to playing outside, the season is full of activities that bring a lot of laughter and happiness. Just because school starts doesn’t mean all the fun has to come to a halt. Remember to enjoy the moments together with your kids and as a family. Sneak in a movie night or swing by the ice cream shop to keep the spirits high. Your kids will learn from you how to bring fun into their everyday routines. 

There is a lot on both parents and kids’ plates at this time of year, so take it moment by moment and day by day. Do you have any ideas that help you and your kids get back into the school routine?

Written by: City Threads Cofounders Shayna Samuels & Joe Willis, and Kestrel Jenkins, responsibility consultant & host of the Conscious Chatter podcast.