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Today I put my kids on the bus and waved goodbye as I happily watched their smiling faces chat with their friends about what teacher they got and how excited they were to start this next chapter of their lives.
Back to school time means change for everyone; kids getting adjusted to bed times, wake times, homework, and after school activities. Parents are forced to return to making lunches, helping with homework, busy schedules and juggling work and household responsibilities in between.
It’s never easy, but like most things, if you are organized and somewhat disciplined, you may actually find solace in returning to everyday routines.
Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
· Make a list of everyone in the house and detail what responsibilities are expected of them (i.e.: making their beds, taking out the trash, unloading the dishwasher, etc)
· Set a timelime. If you are not specific with WHEN you want these tasks done what you’ll hear is “oh I’ll do it later”, (i.e.: “make your bed before you come downstairs for breakfast” or “do your homework before watching TV”) this way, there is no room for ambiguity.
· Don’t try to do it all alone. You are not superhuman and no one, and I mean NO ONE, can run a house, kids and a job all by themselves. If you have to hire a mother’s helper along the way, do it. If you need to partner with a neighbor to help out, that’s ok. The most important part is to EMPOWER your kids to help. Not only will it help you out, but it will teach them important life lessons about responsibility.
· Put yourself on a schedule. We often get so wrapped up in our kids’ schedules that we wind up flying by the seat of our pants when it comes to ourselves. To truly get organized you need to plan for yourself and your daily activities as well.
· Prioritize. It’s natural that our “to-do” is longer than the time we have to complete it, so take some time either early in the morning before everyone gets up, or in the evening after everyone goes to bed to look at the tasks you need to accomplish for the coming day and rank them from most important to least. If you start with the tasks at the top of the list (the most important ones) you will feel much more productive at the end of the day knowing that you were able to complete them.
I know this transition time can often be difficult and stressful for both kids and parents, but if you choose to embrace the change and look at it as a “fresh start” hopefully that will get passed along to our children. Remember, kids learn by example so if you are organized they will be too!