‘Back to school’ can be such a stressful time – not just for the children hoping that the summer holidays will go on forever, but also for parents. As with anything we do for a prolonged period of time, family interactions and routines that we establish in the long holidays can be hard to snap out of. And as with so much of life, a little forward planning can really help. So here are our 5 tips to beat the ‘back to school blues’.
1. Start early
We don’t want to be any sort of killjoy here, but our advice is to start the transition early, so that changes to routine don’t come as such a shock to the system. It’s always good to think ahead, so things don’t become too fraught afterwards.
2. Transition the bed times
If your family is like many others, your children may have become used to going to bed after 10 pm and then sleeping in a bit later in the morning. So a week or two before the end of the holidays, get the children used to earlier bedtimes, to make it easier to manage the start of the school day. But don’t do this suddenly either; start bedtime, say, 15 minutes earlier, and then 20, so that when school starts, they’ll be well able for those early mornings. And it’s also a good idea for you to do the same!
3. Get into better eating
It’s also common to change the family eating patterns when we’re on holidays – perhaps departing from our healthier regimes into quick and easy convenience foods and eating at odd times. So once again, think about getting the meal patterns back on track well before the close of the holiday, to keep the transition back to school as painless as possible.
4. Time to hit the shops
The same goes for back-to-school shopping. While we shouldn’t ruin the end of the holidays for anyone, doing a little planning (such as doing an inventory on what’s available and what’s needed) will ensure that there are no last minute panics about what they need but haven’t got. So make sure that the kids have all they need in plenty of time.
5. Check the correspondence
You know what the end of term is like. Lots of letters, maybe some of them stuck on the fridge, that you’ll look at later? Well, later, is now! So for your own sanity, start looking through all that school correspondence to make sure you know what’s coming up so you can mark all those important dates in the diary.
But it’s not term time yet – there’s still a bit of vacation time left, so we hope you have had, or are having, a wonderful holiday – here’s to a happy and productive autumn term ahead!