With the summer coming to an end, getting back into the swing of things can be hard. As a mom and a therapist, I know that our house will be in complete flux attempting to transition back to a daily routine. Here are five tips to getting back into a routine for a successful fall:
1. REFLECTION ~ Reflect on your summer and discuss what went well and what didn’t. This may include making a list of things to make sure to do next summer. The list can include the first few weekends of the school year with activities you still wish to do. Have your kids decide what they liked most/least and why. Reflection is important for kids
2. CHORES ~ Decide what chores your kids are going to do this year and start NOW! Age appropriate chores are important for positive family dynamics, easing the burden on parents and helping with a kid’s self-confidence. What can your child learn to do consistently? Folding their laundry, cleaning up their room, setting the table? Studies show that successful college students learn to do self-sufficient activities in middle school (making food for meals, laundry, cleaning up, small “fix it” activities).
3. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION ~ Organize your home so everyone knows where things “live.” In our house, socks “live” by the front door next to the shoes. Each child has their own sock bin and they are responsible for keeping socks in pairs. No one asks me where their socks are! Take a few minutes and organize a location for book bags, library books, lunch supplies, school projects and extra school supplies
4. FAMILY CALENDAR ~ Utilize a color-coded calendar for yourself, your spouse, and your children. Each person gets their own color (we also have colors for our dogs)! Input appointments as soon as you receive them, including sports or music practices, back-to-school nights, birthday parties, etc. In our house I record the doctor’s appointments and school events and my husband records all the sporting events. The calendar is shared so we can both see everything
5. SELF-CARE ~ Remember to take care of yourself. September is always the hardest month for me personally. SO.MUCH.CHANGING. As parents we need to put on our OWN oxygen mask first. Teach your kids how to make spaghetti and take the night off from cooking. Go on a much needed date night. Make plans with friends. Take a long walk. Treat yourself to a lavender cookie from Dairy Godmother or a milkshake from Holy Cow! Do 20 minutes of yoga or Pilates to clear your head and strengthen your body.
It’s hard to remember that soon these kiddos will be grown up and our hectic days will wind down. My mom’s favorite reminder to me was “long days, short years.” Take a few deep breaths, reflect on summertime, set yourself up for success this fall, and take care of yourself. If things with your children seem a little off, check in with a local therapist to see if your kids could benefit from some support. The Del Ray Wellness District is chock full of wonderful therapists who would love to help your family. I host two groups on a consistent basis; confidence for girls ages 8-12 and worried kids ages 7-9. More information can be found here: www.wonderologie.com/groups