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Stress-Free School Year

When the kids go back to school, there’s always the excitement in the air. But the school year can also be a busy time for both parents and kids. Here’s some tips to make the school year run more smoothly for all of you.

Get more sleep

Teens especially need about 8-10 hours of sleep per night but rarely get that.

Some tips for making sleep easier:

  • Have a bedtime / wakeup time and keep it consistent - even on the weekends!

  • Avoid television and all electronics at least one hour before bed.

  • Electronics do not belong in the bedroom.

  • Keep the bedroom cool and dark.

  • Have a bedtime routine - maybe a cup of herbal tea, taking a shower or bath, and reading for pleasure a few minutes before lights out.

Have a homework routine

Establish a time and place to get homework done by setting up a WHEN / THEN series with your child. For example, when I get home from school, I eat my snack and then I turn my cell phone off while I work on my homework. When my homework is completed fully and completely, then I may turn my cell phone back on.

Prep the night before

Backpacks packed, lunches made (if applicable), and clothes laid out for the next morning. In our family we have shared bedrooms, so laying out your clothes for the next morning is a requirement to make sure you’re not disturbing your roommmate!

Keep a family calendar

A large whiteboard calendar or paper calendar posted in a main area of your home (such as your kitchen) is ideal for keeping track of everyone’s schedule. Kids can be taught to write their school or extracurricular events on the calendar, including big test days or project due-dates. Parents can use the family calendar as well, for marking nights they’ll be working late or other schedule changes.

Make technology work for you

If your kids have cell phones, iPads, or computers, teach them to use the calendar or reminder apps for putting important deadlines, or even their chores.

Host a family meeting

We like to kick the school year off with a family meeting to discuss chores, expectations, and goals. The back-to-school season is a great time to encourage your kids to come up with some goals for the year ahead. Maybe even share some affirmations with them that they can use to start their days off. Here’s some affirmation ideas:

  • I can do anything I put my mind to.

  • This is going to be my year.

  • Everything is always working out for me.

  • How does it get better than this?

  • All of my problems have solutions.

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