Back to the Back-to-School Routine

If you want a successful return to school, you have to do more than simply shove your kids out the door on time for the first couple of weeks (although that can seem like a major victory). Instead, getting off to a good start requires easing back into routine. Here are a few tips.

Openly address anxieties. Some kids get pretty nervous about the beginning of the school year. Let them know it’s OK, and that many of their classmates are feeling the same way.

Ease into the new sleep schedule. Don’t try to shift all at once from staying up late to early bed times. Recognize that changes in sleep habits will take time, and work with your kids by moving up bedtimes a few minutes a day until you get onto the new schedule.

Dial back screen time. Kids get used to more TV, computer and game time in the summer. Don’t make them go cold turkey when school starts. Reduce screen time during the first couple of weeks of school, before homework gets crazy, and then set it at a reasonable level. Extra bonus: It will improve the quality of their sleep, too.

Prepare for homework. Homework is often a real stress test for families. As school routine gets underway, talk with your kids about the best ways to manage it. Ask what they think will work best, then apply your wisdom to find a compromise that will lead to fewer arguments and less stress for everybody.

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