With kids going back to school, many parents will be thrilled at the prospect of no longer homeschooling, but a lot of parents have relished this extra time they’ve had with their little ones and will find it hard to say goodbye. To make the transition easier for both of you, establishing a back to school routine is essential.
There are numerous health benefits in establishing a routine, such as reduced stress levels as your time and responsibilities are already allotted. Routines also help you effectively manage your time, so you are not rushing to get everything done. By setting out a routine, you can take control of your life by getting everything done and giving yourself enough time to relax, too!
A routine won’t just benefit your mental health - but your child’s, too. When life is consistent and organised for a child, they feel safe, secure, and looked after. This is particularly important during stressful times, which going back to school may be for a lot of children after six long months off. But, by creating a predictable daily routine, children learn what to expect each day, and become less likely to suffer from anxiety or temper tantrums.
This year more than ever, returning to school will mean a huge shift in the everyday for many households. To make this change as seamless as possible, we’ve given you some tips on how to help your child get back into routine!
1. Prepare Your Child for School
Unfortunately, a new routine cannot be put in place overnight. By expecting your child to fall into their new routine on their first Monday back will make the process more difficult than it has to be. Try to implement an earlier bedtime for your child, so they can become used to their new routine rather than be unable to get up for their first day of school, or spend their first week back overtired.
2. Set Morning and Night Routines
Rushing increases everyone’s stress levels and will make for a very anxiety-inducing situation for you and your child. By setting a consistent time to wake your children up and send them to bed, you are ensuring they get enough sleep for the day ahead. This will guarantee your child has enough time to eat a nutritious breakfast that will keep them going throughout their day.
3. Make Homework Time a Priority
By scheduling homework time into your child’s routine, you ensure their learning is a priority and it is never left to the last minute. They are sure to become used to completing their homework tasks, and you can reward them with a sticker chart or positive reinforcement to incentivise them to keep up their good work.
4. Schedule Family Mealtimes
To help your child get back into routine, try and have family dinner times around the same time each day. Though after school and work commitments can make this challenging, it is key for helping you manage your time correctly and give your child a secure daily routine.
5. Manage Your Child’s Emotions
With children not going into school since March, the prospect of returning can be daunting for them. Particularly as the separation anxiety they may have developed through spending so much time with their parents could prove a difficult emotion to shake off. By setting up a routine for them you will be helping ensure their worries about going back to school are managed through making it a much easier transition. Helping them get enough sleep through instating a regular bedtime will be particularly beneficial for their mental health!
For more information on managing children’s Back to School worries, read our blog post on Helping Your Child With Back To School Anxiety
6. Get Them Excited for School!
Helping your child get back into the school routine will be a lot easier if they are enthusiastic about it! We’ve created some free downloadable activities for your little ones to complete to get them excited about going back to school! This will ensure they go into the new academic year with a positive mindset that embraces the change to their daily routine.
Written by Sam Wait
From the Love Writing Team