Updated: Oct 26
Wise Choice Educational & Family Solutions, Melanie Hempel
There is never a bad time to address the back-to-school morning routine. The start of the school year usually creates enough of a change to out stress on any amount of routine the family has come to expect over a summer break however we find school can be well underway but the morning routine is still nowhere to be found.
The first line of defense: Establish a morning routine.
Kids are generally able to handle their emotions better when they have some predictable routines. Routines and systems can help you be more like the parent you want to be and less like the drill sergeant you don’t want to become.
Here are some ideas to help bring the routine back:
Have grace. Show yourself and your kids grace in the transition of going back to school. According to Webster’s dictionary, a routine is “a sequence of actions regularly followed.” A routine is not a routine immediately, it becomes one over time. The first weeks of school are spent building the new routine and may not come easily at first. Even though the new school year is underway with all that this year brings it is never too late to re-visit routines that support your family's needs. Keep going, better mornings are on their way.
Take care of yourself. Prioritize your own healthy morning routine. You will be a good example to your kids, and you will be less frazzled and more likely to respond well to your kid’s morning struggles. If you are lacking the discipline required, reach out to a friend for accountability, it will be worth it.
Be calm. Your own emotional state will impact your kids. If you are calm, it will help ease your kid's stress and that will help them think logically instead of responding emotionally. You may not realize when you get an edge to your voice, but your kids will. Pay attention to the tone of your voice when things are getting behind schedule. Take some deep breaths and purpose to keep a calm tone.
Establishing a back-to-school routine at any time of year cultivates a predictable time and space for your child they can count on. Consistency and healthy systems foster certainty and reduce stress for all family members. Children will be more likely to regulate their own emotions and begin the day with success.
If your family is struggling and you need help, give us a call or book an appointment. Our team can help you work through the chaos and create systems that work for your family.
About the Author: Melanie Hempel
Melanie has a bachelor's degree in counseling and psychology and is trained and certified by ICF to coach. She has served as an advocate for foster children for eleven years and has done independent study on the effects of trauma and attachment on the developing brain.