It’s almost time for parents to start thinking about the new school year. This can be an adjustment for everyone, from the kids who have been enjoying sleeping in and trampoline parks, to the parents who are trying to juggle numerous responsibilities at work and home.
This transition can be particularly difficult for parents of students entering new grades or new schools.No matter what your child’s age, as summer draws to a close it is an adjustment for everyone – gathering school supplies, getting kids to doctors and navigating all of the required health forms, attending meet-the teacher nights and school sports tryouts, juggling new after school program requirements, not to mention managing the adjusted sleep/wake times. It is fair to say that back-to-school season brings an array of challenges.
So, what should parents begin to do now to support a seamless transition during this crazy time of the year? We solicited some expert advice on the topic from busy working mom and co-founder of Trusting Connections and Timeless Play, Rosalind Prather. Here she shares her top 7 tips for preparing your family for Back-To-School season.
1. Be honest and strategic about which activities you absolutely have to do and those you want to do. For example, does your child really need to do tumbling, karate, pottery and piano lessons this fall?
2. Review your obligations and talk with your managers and colleagues ahead of time, to manage expectations around your workplace.
3. View your children’s teachers, nannies and caregivers as collaborative teammates. You all have your child’s best interest at heart. Team up, have discussions, let them be contributory parts of your village. Yes, to the Type A- do-it- all heroic moms out there, this does mean that sometimes you do have to let someone else take the torch and run with it. Let them. Practical tip: email your child(ren)s teacher prior to the start of the year, introduce yourself and save them as a contact in your phone. You will not regret taking this step.
4. Print off the school calendar, which is usually available by July. Set up your family calendar by August 1st, noting half-days, no school days and any special weeks/ activities that will require extra attention. Get ahead of the thought process and plan early.
5. Establish Routines.
a. Start sending your child to bed earlier and have your child wake up at the time he or she would get up for school.
b. Establish consistent homework routines and expectations with your children before the school year even begins. Draw up a homework contract to help your project procrastinator.
6. Remember that you, as the parent, are not the only human in the house with big emotions right now. Kids are also stressed by new teachers, new routines and new structures. Build some family fun days into the August and September calendar. Create space for your kids to open up and share with you.
7. Be proactive and educated about childcare and in-home support services to aid your family with date nights, those inevitable times that work conflicts come up for both parents, and for your many fall and winter evening obligations. Have your go-team ready.
a. Consider a Flex-Membership with Trusting Connections, offering a wide range of services- from part-time, or occasional sitters to short-term summer nanny placements. If family’s need general childcare advice and are not yet sure what service would be the right fit click here or call 520-544-6612 to schedule a complimentary consultation.
b. Your time is valuable. One of our vetted childcare providers can provide fully customizable, personalized care. They can help with educational crafts or activities, homework and events tailored to the ages and interests of your children. Families can also require the nanny to follow a specific meal or nap schedule to help keep everything running smoothly. Nannies can help around the house, too! With a nanny, you can often expect to also get some additional help around the house with laundry, dishes, light housekeeping etc. which can really help keep you organized (and sane) during this busy transitional season.
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If you decide to look for in-home care, Trusting Connections can help. They offer a wide range of services- from part-time, or occasional sitters to short-term summer nanny placements.
If after your consult, hiring a nanny is not the right fit, parents in the Tucson area can also consider enrolling their children ages 1-12 at Timeless Play, a reimagined drop-off childcare center at the River and Campbell intersection in Tucson, AZ.