5 simple ways your family can adjust to going back to school

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When you’re 12 (or 6 or 8), going back to school is something most kids — and some parents — dread. But here are five simple things you can do to help everyone adjust.

1. Establish a bedtime routine

The more rested kids are, the easier it will be to cope with a new schedule. John Piacentini, a child expert at UCLA, recommends starting the school-year schedule a few weeks before school begins. In addition to a structured bedtime, he says having everything in order the night before can also be helpful.

2. Promote fun-loving structure at home

Every child loves to have fun, but they also need structure. Establish a good balance of the two by allowing your kids to connect with you. Give them 30 minutes after school to unwind with a snack. Listen as they tell you about their day and then encourage them to finish their homework and household chores.

3. Give your child room to grow, but let them know it’s OK to feel scared

It’s hard for some kids to adjust to being away from Mom and Dad. If separation anxiety is too much for your child, ask the teacher to make a special effort to reach out. Help them make friends by asking who they would like to invite over to play. Spend one-on-time with them each day. Hug them, encourage them and let them know you always have their back.

4. Go outside and play on the weekends

After three months of being able to play outside, adjusting to being indoors all day is not an easy transition for kids. Not only is being out in nature good for your health, but experts say it can help improve academic performance. Eastern Idaho offers a plethora of things for families to do outside, including bike rides, hikes or enjoying a day at the park.

5. Don’t forget to take care of you

Let’s face it, an adjustment in the kid’s schedule also means an adjustment in your schedule. If you’re stressed, the kids will also be stressed, and all plans for a smooth and peaceful transition go out the window. Take breaks throughout the day while the kids are at school, whether it’s listening to an audio book in the car or watching an episode of your favorite show on Netflix. A few minutes of “me-time” goes a long way in rejuvenating yourself for the daily grind.