Parenting: Back to School Anxiety

Back to school is around the corner and one of the biggest questions I receive from parents is: "how do I get my kids back into a school-day routine?" This question seems to bring with it a lot of anxiety for parents whose children are returning to school in September (or in my case, August 30th). But there is hope.

Parents often feel anxious about back to school because they no longer have a good routine. Just like kids, parents function much better when they know what to expect. So, the first step is to get back into a school-day routine. Here's how:

1. Gradually return to a regular bedtime. If you're like me, you've probably been a little less concerned about bedtime throughout theday summer. With 2-3 weeks until the first day of school, it's time to gradually get the kids back into a regular sleep routi-ne. Try sending them to bed 15 minutes earlier each week (depending on how late they have been allowed to stay up) until they get back to their regular bedtime.

2. Mirror school day meal and snack times. To get the kids back in the habit of eating at regular times (rather than grazing ALL DAY LONG), take a peak at your school's website for their daily schedule and then offer them meals and snacks at the same times.

3. Schedule time for homework. If your kids receive homework from their teachers, now is a good time to get them back in the habit of sitting down for 20-30 minutes a night (depending on their age and your comfort level) to read a book or do something educational. This way, when homework does get assigned the kids will already be in the habit of, say, sitting down at the kitchen table after dinner to do it.