3 Steps to a Painless Back to School Routine

Back to School means back to routine…and back to rushing, running, nagging, cajoling. But maybe it doesn’t have to be. This year, with both kids in school full days, we are working really hard to make the transition easier.

1. Get the kids involved.
Talk aboutMorning Routine what they need to do before and after school, when they need to get up, what they want to eat, etc. We have made a list of breakfast ideas and posted it on the fridge, and then give them a choice of 2 or 3 from that list. Allow them to choose what order they want to do their jobs in. Eat breakfast and brush teeth before getting dressed? Not my choice, but that’s how my son likes to role (and I bite my tongue… hard)

2. Make the kids responsible for their own actions.
This one is HARD. Today my son was madly pulling on his socks, shoes, and coat at the LAST second. But they have a chart, and they know the steps they need to take to ensure they are ready for school. It is even non-reader friendly, with fun images showing what needs doing. I have said I am leaving with whichever child is ready at 8:30. The day will come when I leave one of them behind with their dad, in tears because they chose to test that boundary, but sometimes the best lessons are the hardest ones. By putting the onus on them, it makes it easier to calmly say “check the chart” and not nag/yell non-stop all morning.

3. Breathe.
We are all going to have a serious case of the grumpies one morning, or have a gross day at work and not have any patience for the kids after school. If you need a 5 min parent time-out to get your head back on straight, take it. Tomorrow is a new day, and maybe you just need to make an extra cup of coffee for yourself to tackle it  :)

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