That time of year has hit again and while we’re busy getting kids organized for back to school, I’m reminding myself of some goals that will help all of us survive the season (and the year!) in a happy and successful way.
Get it organized early. Make sure all information for every family member is in one central location. Certainly I have many online tools, but the kids need to know what’s going on too, so I like to keep a calendar in a high traffic area in our home. Make sure big kids know to put information about birthday parties and play dates on the calendar. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep it up to date and accurate.
I post on my ‘neighborhood moms’ Facebook group all the activities my children are registered in and do a call out for car pool buddies. As such, I rarely do both the drop-off and pick-up. If you don’t have a ‘neighborhood moms’ Facebook group, set one up. That’s what I did and it’s 400 mamas strong. That makes for a lot of shared driving.
Set up a designated area and time that children do homework. Base the time on the activity schedule of the day. Homework time on Mondays might be 4:30pm, but at 6:30pm on Tuesdays. That’s fine, but make sure each child knows their individual homework time on each day and stick to it. Don’t back down and don’t be flexible. Routine is good for the kids and good for a parent’s sanity.
However you want to manage it, set up your rules and stick to them. Kids are masters of sneaking away and burying their heads in screens for longer than actually allowed. Sometimes it’s actually just easier to give screen time a miss during the week. Whatever your rules – make sure they’re clear and consequence any screen time abusers.
Did you want to take up yoga or tap dancing? How about joining a book club? If these are on your wish list, write them on the family calendar and make sure the family respects that you have an interest/activity as well.
We all start the school year with good intentions, but sticking to our goals takes commitment and time. But like anything with kids, short term hard is long term easy. Set up systems now, stick to them and reap the benefits throughout the school year!
Julie Cole is the Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels, a parenting blogger and mom of six.