It happens to the best of us–even us adults. We have a long break off from work for vacation or the holidays, and it's hard to get back into our normal, everyday routine. So we can't blame our kids for having a rough time getting back into the day-to-day routine of going to school after a nice, long break for the holidays. Here are some great suggestions for making the transition back to the school routine as smooth as possible:
Ease Into Early Mornings
Don't wait until the first day back to school to wake your kids up at 6 a.m. or sooner. Instead, encourage them to start waking up earlier each day the week before, so they will gradually work up to their early mornings again. They will be happier, and the transition from sleeping in to waking up early will be a lot smoother. You don't want your kids to be groggy on their first day back at school!
Prepare the Night Before
Make sure your children have everything ready for their first day back, instead of scrambling around the morning-of. Lay out their outfits or uniforms, shoes, backpacks and supplies. If you are waiting on a supply list from your child's teacher, make sure they have the essentials for their first week back–pencils, pens, 3-prong folders and notebook paper.
Encourage Healthy Eats
Now that the holidays are over, it's a good time to get your children back into the routine of eating healthy, nutritious breakfasts and lunches. Help your children plan what they will take for lunch, including plenty of fruits and veggies and whole grains. Allow them to help pack their own lunches or make their own breakfasts, as they will be more likely to eat them if they took part in the preparation. A healthy breakfast and lunch will help kids stay focused and energized at school.
Schedule Homework Time
Your children may want to play outside as soon as they get home from school, especially since they just spent a few weeks relaxing and getting into a routine that did not include the word "homework." To break them from this routine, be firm and set aside a specific time for homework. Encourage them to finish their homework during this time by allowing them some play time when they finish. Setting a specific time as "homework time" will get them into a routine that they can follow for the rest of the school year.
We all wish the holidays were a little bit longer, but just like parents have to get back to work, children have to get back to school. Set a good example for your children by showing your excitement for the New Year and a fresh start back to work, and they will follow your lead as they head back to school. The LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County is dedicated to setting good examples and helping teens make good choices. Visit us online to find out how you can help the teens in your life say “no” to drugs.