We have some choices, moms. We can let that sucker run down the streets and get out of its way, or use the opportunity to show it who’s boss. The crazy bull of a new school year can be tamed, and you don’t even have to put on a spangly suit and wave a red cape.
Here’s how to really grab the new school year by the horns and get a grip on even more:
1. Assume nothing:
Starting from square one with just about everything that has to do with a kid’s school year is really the best option to get the maximum results from this time. A fresh start always feels different.
That’s right. Just because the kids have always put their lunch boxes and backpacks in the hallway after school doesn’t mean that they will remember it this year. You may have required them to use a chore chart last year that they loved, but this year, that chore chart may seem, well, so last year.
2. Fix problems:
Ask yourself, “What was the number one issue your family struggled with last school year?”
Around here it was getting to bed at a decent hour. That hour varies from family to family, kid to kid, but the effect is the same. The earlier, the better. It’s like a universal truth for school age kids. Find me a mom that wakes up on any given school morning and says, “Wow! I should have never put those kids to bed so early! They are so chipper and alive!” From the age of Pre-K on, bedtime is KEY to having a great morning, to having a great day, week and year for a child.
3. Create new good habits:
As children get older, they need new habits to help them mature.
A good example of this would be picking one more task that your child could be responsible for this year that you did for them last year. I know a mom who insists that her child’s ENTIRE backpack gets emptied out every night on the dining room table. This is middle schooler who was having trouble keeping up with slips of paper and such. By doing this each day as a habit, they were able to combat the issue.
4. Raise a couple expectations:
Do you have a great student who doesn’t struggle much in school? Or do you have a struggling student who can barely keep up? Either way, we do ALL of them a great service by raising a small expectation of them every year.
If and when they achieve it, their self-esteem boosts and the next hurdle doesn’t seem as high. Something small, or example, like leaving the house at 7:25 instead of 7:30 everyday can give them a reasonable goal. Reward them immediately for achieving the set goal and you’ve built in a great system for later, more difficult ones.
So, congratulations! The new school year brings the grand opportunity to wrestle with some of the tough stuff of parenting.
But YOU CAN DO IT!
Grab your new school year by the horns, ladies. This is the time to gain some control and establish great patterns for their whole lives.
Of course if you need to get a great spangly, tight-fitting suit to wear to help you feel more powerful, I’m sure the kids would greatly appreciate the entertainment.
Just don’t forget the red cape. It works with the outfit perfectly.