6 Simple Ways To Send Your Kids Back To School Without Pulling Your Hair Out
I can hear it now.
The leaves are crunching under their new school shoes, the bell rings to invite them into class, and their neatly packed lunches are now jostling around as they run to go inside.
I love back to school season.
Surprised to hear me say that out loud? From the conversations I’ve had with many of you, I’m not alone! Looking forward to back to school doesn’t make you a bad parent, okay? The unscheduled time for your kids to play, relax, and experience new things is truly wonderful. Freedom is excellent, but returning to routine is great too. Routines are where most of us thrive, know what to expect, and do all the things in our day. Just like a bedtime routine is important for great sleep, daytime routines are beneficial too!
Preparing for back to school
But I know how the summer goes - your usual routine goes out the window most nights, and instead it’s late to bed and later out of bed. I love being the fun mom and letting a lot of our structure go for a few months over the summer, but I know that definitely won’t fly when we need to get back to school.
Here’s how you can easily get started so everyone is back on track:
I can’t stress this one enough, but do not wait until the last minute. There’s nothing worse than a frantic, pressure-induced night before school starts because we procrastinated resetting our routines. You know your family best, but I recommend giving it a minimum 3-7 days to readjust.
Reinstate that bedtime routine you may have abandoned at the end of June. Remember how you used to have your kids brush their teeth, get their pjs on, and then read a couple of books? Go back to that.
Ensure they get their quality hours of sleep during the night. Return to their usual bedtime on days where they have to get up on time - going back to school is a real adjustment! Between all the stimulation they’re not used to anymore, social interaction, and their brain having to work harder again, it can be really exhausting for the first little bit. This is especially true if your child is going to school for the first time! Make sleep a priority so their brains can recharge for the next day.
Simple meals are your friend. Keep dinner time a bit early, or at least on time when you’re getting back into routine. This means you won’t have supper running late to push back bedtime. Go with what is simple to prepare, cook, and clean up so your evening isn’t chaotic. Come to think of it, this sounds like great advice for just about every night!
Consider their sleep needs. I get lots of questions about how many hours of sleep kids should be getting based on their age. And while there are many factors to consider (sickness, growth spurts etc), take a peek at this guideline for school age kids.
Sleep needs by age:
3-5 years = 10-13 hrs
6-12 yrs = 9-12 hrs
13-18 yrs = 8-10 hrs
Don’t forget about independent sleep. Whether your child never did practice their independent sleep skills, or they’ve gotten comfortable with something new over the summer, get back to those healthy sleep habits that foster restorative, undisrupted sleep. If your kiddo is struggling with this, you know I’m always happy to guide you to that quality rest they need.
If back to school is giving your child (or yourself!) anxiety, that’s going to show up in their sleep! I’m here to help your family get back on track so school is smooth sailing. Or if your little ones aren’t school age yet, but are still struggling with their sleep, you know I’m here for you too! Sleep affects every aspect of your life - from how you feel, to how you function in your day. I want your kids to enjoy school almost as much as you do, and I know how important sleep is in making that happen.
Check out my Toddler to Ten package for sleep support that is catered to your child’s age.
Questions first? Just ask! Get in touch with me directly or book your free 15 minute call.
Enjoy your routine again!