It’s September, and some parents refer to this month as the “true new year.” For busy parents of school aged children, it feels like that anyway. Now that everyone is back in school, we parents have a wonderful opportunity to hit RESET on all those routines that may have gone by the wayside during the last couple of months.
- RESET your wake-up time. Make a habit of waking up at the same time every weekday. Provide your child with an alarm clock (not their cell phone). If they have trouble hearing it, place it across the room. TIP: For those kiddos who want their cell phone in their rooms at night because they like to listen to music – consider the Amazon Dot. It connects to Spotify and other music services but it won’t let your kid Snapchat all night.
- RESET your morning routine. Take note how long it takes you (and your children) to shower, get dressed, have breakfast, pack lunch, etc. What distractions are causing your morning routine to run long? Eliminate those distractions. Add 5+ minutes to your commute time to give yourself a tiny bit of wiggle room when heading out the door.
- RESET your entry-way or mud room. Do the children have a place for their coats, shoes and backpacks? Is there a consistent place where they can store and find their sports gear?
- RESET your afterschool home routine. In our house that means homework and chores before screen time. Discuss the rules now at the beginning of the school year and get into a groove right away.
- RESET the space where your child does homework. Have a small amount of school supplies on hand wherever your child does homework. Keep electronics and the TV off during homework time.
- RESET your family calendar. The beginning of the school year is always a complicated puzzle of new schedules, carpools, and afterschool activities. Write it all down for everyone to see. Share your electronic calendar with your spouse and teen children.
- RESET your evening routine. In our family that means the boys’ phones charging downstairs at bedtime. It means a much earlier bedtime than during the summer.
- RESET your meal planning. Write down your meal plan and shop for that plan. Try BlueApron.com and have your meals delivered to you ready to cook.
This reset will bring back structure to your days, and with it calm and stability. It will reduce anxiety for the whole family. Good luck and happy new (school) year!