It’s back to school: Cue the chaos
The on-again, off-again switches from in-person to virtual learning have many parents’ heads spinning – and no one knows how long the next back-to-school routine might last.
While you can’t predict the future, you can plan ahead to manage this year’s stress by setting some realistic expectations and working as a family to tackle challenges.
Here are five ways you can lower the stress meter for everyone.
1. Prep, prep, prep
In kid-years, it’s been a long time since they had a normal back-to-school routine. Help them prepare for re-entry by asking questions about:
- Friends they want to see?
- Teachers they miss?
- Some of the things they look forward to doing at school?
This will help ease stress and remind them of the fun times ahead.
You can always work with early
Waiting is less stressful than rushing. Plan to have a few minutes to spare in the parking lot or on the sidewalk on the first day of school.
2. Be clear about bedtime and downtime
The sooner you start to enforce bedtime and limit screen time, the less it will feel like punishment and more like the old normal.
3. Set the stage with a positive outlook
Your kids may have some apprehension about heading back to class. So help everyone see the new year as something positive by setting an enthusiastic example.
- Start a countdown clock on the wall.
- Encourage the kids to get in touch with classmates from last year.
- Explore some of this year’s subjects ahead of time by watching movies, TV shows or online tutorials.
Your enthusiasm can be contagious and will help lower the stress level for the whole family as the big day approaches.
4. Have a plan for Day 1
Clear your calendar at the beginning and end of the first couple of days back to school. A good strategy is to hope for the best but plan for the likely. Expect line-ups, delays and traffic headaches.
Your clients and colleagues will understand. Over the past 18 months, we’ve all watched kids float in and out of Zoom calls like highly energized apparitions. We’re on your side – whether we have kids of our own or not.
5. Stick with what worked all summer
No doubt, you and your kids have found new ways to keep busy, stay active and have fun. Maybe you’ve rediscovered the joys of board games or made a family walk one of your daily activities. Stick with it. If there’s a routine that helped your family get through the last on-again, off-again school year, it will get you through this one, too.
Make the first week back to school less stressful for you and your family with a little prep, planning, and by sticking to routines that work. If there are any financial hurdles in your way, talk to your Lawyers Financial advisor so you can stay focused getting the school year started on the right foot.