It’s back to school time and for many people, this can be a hectic time of year. The lazy days of summer can result in new habits for everyone. There’s more time for fun and relaxation, which can mean more video games and TV, as well as more time for outdoor activities. Kids play long and hard during their time off from school, so it’s not surprising that most kids stay up later through the summer months, and with that, many take advantage of sleeping late in the mornings.
But when school time rolls around, all the old routines are back in place again. Kids have to get up early, prepare for school, arrive on time and ready to learn, and then return back home at the end of the school day. But the day doesn’t end there. Many kids will have to fit in time for such things as practice for a sports activity, band practice or other school-related events, as well as time for homework, supper, and relaxation and bath time before going to bed.
How to Deal With the Transition
Obviously, the beginning of the school year can result in preparations and some changes that are not always easy to get used to.
Ideally, kids will begin to make the adjustment to their earlier bedtime and waking before school starts. If possible, an earlier bedtime should be enforced beginning at least about 2 weeks prior to the start date of school. This gives kids and mom time to get used to the new schedule.
In addition to going to bed and waking up earlier, it can also be helpful for kids to get in the habit of things like getting dressed soon after waking, and eating breakfast early. If not already established, this is also a good time to begin nighttime routines that will help with bedtime. This will be different from one home to another and sometimes even from one child to another. For instance, after supper you may plan some TV time for the kids, which might include a snack. After that it may be time for the kids to take a bath and brush their teeth. Then it may be time for bed.
New School Year, New Habits
Although the transition to the new school year may seem a little hectic, and you may hit some bumps as you establish the new routines, soon even the new habits will be accepted. While a gradual approach to the transition is best, kids usually adjust to changes more easily than we expect.