De-stress and keep it simple this school year with these 7 simple tips!

1. Plan ahead. This probably sounds pretty obvious and a lot easier said than done. Don’t get overwhelmed!Taking just a few steps the evening before can make your mornings go smoother and reduce rushed panic. You can lay out their outfit for the next day including socks, shoes, backpack, jackets, and make a “no change” rule to save time.

2. Pack-a-lunch organization system. This will save you so much time and create a useful learning experience for your children. Start by making a list of all the things you would like to see in your child’s lunch box to make a balanced meal. Then get some bins and label them. You can have your child pick items out of each bin and teach them the importance of a balanced diet. Once they do it a few times, they can start doing it on their own which will give them a great sense of independence and accomplishment.

3. Establish and regulate bedtimes. A good night’s sleep for your child during their development (especially in the school year) is absolutely crucial. It can be a very difficult transition from late summer nights and sleeping in, to going to bed early and waking with the sun! If you set a regular bedtime, implement it, and help them understand that it is the same every night, it may save you a lot of grief. Kids crave consistency even if they don’t realize it and their bodies will thank you for it!

4. Launch pad! This can be a fun way to make sure you don’t forget anything on your way out the door. Designate an area in your home and create a launch pad with everything they need to take to school. You can make a whiteboard list that changes depending on what they will need for a certain day depending on projects, etc. You can call items out to them and have them say “check!”. After a while it will probably become second nature.

5. Let know you’re thinking about them. Starting a new school year can be stressful for both student and parent. Try sneaking a family photo in their lunchbox or an encouraging note. This is a good way for both of you to stay connected and help both of you through this stressful time.

6. Create an achievement tree. Turn a fun art project into a productivity incentive booster! Make a big cutout of a tree trunk and hang it up on a wall. Then make some cut outs of leaves and have the kids color them in. Each time they complete an achievement at school, get a gold star, or just get a good grade on something, get together and write it on a leaf and pin it on the tree. The fuller the tree the better!

7.Listen. During the beginning, and throughout the school year, your children are learning so many new things. Their heads are filled with knowledge, and new relationships with friends are being formed. Just the thought of everything that is going to be expected of them this school year can be very daunting and stressful. We all know that “talking it out” can be very useful in processing new information. Maybe create a list of questions to help them talk it out over dinner time to let them express what they are learning/feeling, in a comfortable setting.

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