As the leaves start to turn yellow and red, and the weather starts to get a little cooler, it can only mean one thing – back to school time!
For many parents, this means back to busy mornings and long evenings of homework. But it also doesn’t have to be all work and no play. You can however build a strong family relationship through bonding.
This September, why not make some family resolutions together? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Earlier BedTimes For Everyone
If you’ve let bedtime get out of hand as I have, you might also be staying up later than you should as a grown-up to compensate for your little one staying up later. Even 15 minutes earlier a night for everyone will make a big difference.
Going Back to School, Limit Screen Time
Make at least the last half hour before bed, screen-free time for everyone. While all of us enjoy unwinding a bit in the evening with some mindless entertainment, it’s a good idea to limit late-night binge-watching.
A 2014 study revealed that screen time not only shortened the amount of sleep, but it also delayed it each night.
This is particularly important since most adolescents (and adults for that matter) have at least one electronic device in their room.
Consider creating a universal time when everyone parks and recharges their phone and/or laptop each evening (outside of where they sleep) to avoid temptation, or even put their devices on Do Not Disturb so they’re not tempted to peek when a notification pings.
Check out our post on how to limit screen time at home.
Eat Breakfast – Every Day
Your mother was right, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Going back to school with no gas in the tank will impact a child’s ability to learn, and will also impact you, your metabolism, and your workday.
While it would be nice to have an elaborate, hot-cooked meal every morning, that’s not always possible. Consider whipping up some muffins on the weekend, looking up some healthy and easy recipes you and your kids will enjoy, or giving your child some squeezable unsweetened applesauce or fresh fruit and yogurt that they can take on the go.
For more healthy tips for your kids, check out this post – 15 Healthy Snacks for Picky Kids.
Go Slowly When Back to School
The school year is a marathon, not a race. Be mindful of that and consider staggering extracurricular activities for your child. Starting a new program in October instead of the first week of school will allow everyone to get back into the swing of things without feeling overwhelmed – the same goes for the adults!
Going Back to School, Always Be Prepared
Ten minutes at night can save time and stress each morning. By packing lunches and laying out clothes the night before, mornings will be easier. Plus this preparation can be a part of your screen-free time before bed. Meal planning before hitting the grocery store each week can take the guesswork out of dinner time and emergency trips to the corner store for supplies.
Teach Your Kids To Do It Themselves
Kids can do a lot more than we give them credit for. Allow them to get themselves dressed, pack their lunches, and get ready for their day with a little assistance from you when necessary. It’s our job to prepare our kids as well as protect them. A little extra work now will give them the life skills they need to cope in years to come when mom or dad aren’t packing them a sandwich or folding their laundry.
Back to School – Remember to Practice Self-Care
Reward yourself and your children with a new book, some meditation, or a fun weekend day trip to remind everyone that just because summer is coming to an end, play is still on the agenda. I’m adding reading time four nights a week to my regular, soon-to-be earlier, bedtime routine. My kids always sleep better after storytime, so why not try that for the grown-ups too?
Read also our post – Picture Storytelling: Fun-tastic Ways To Improve Your Kid’s Skills
As we head into September back to school, it’s time to start thinking about our family resolutions for the year. It can be tough to come up with ideas that will work for everyone, but these five tips should help get you started.
With a little bit of planning and effort, you can create lasting memories and traditions this school year. What are your family resolutions for the year?
Sara is a freelance writer, award winning parenting blogger, and public relations specialist from Toronto, Canada. She is mother to fraternal girl/boy twins, loves music, hiking, and offbeat pop culture.