Back to School displays line the aisles of many Wal-Marts right now. If you walk further down the aisles you will also see displays of sunscreen, beach towels, beach balls, pool toys, and anything else you might need for a day out on the beach or out in the pool and as you walk away things get a little confusing. This time of year marks a period of transition between summer and fall and it can be hard to pinpoint the season we are in. Some students have already gone back to school, but this weekend is the last week of summer for many Texans in the education field or those who are in school themselves. On Monday many children and teens will go back to school and their fall semester will start. The next few weeks will be hard and filled with adjustment to new schedules as students and teachers get used to hearing the sound of their alarm clock again. During this season our lives can seem chaotic and stressful as we get used to the changes all around us. It is important to establish a routine with your children and teens in order to help make this change easier. The following are a few suggestions on how to establish and maintain a routine.
Sit down with your child and discuss your schedules. If your child does not have a calendar get one for your child before you go over your schedules. The best time to discuss your schedules would be any and every time you become aware of a schedule change. Sometimes things get added to our schedules and /or an event or meeting is cancelled or changed. It can be easy to leave out the details and forget to tell our loved ones about a cancelled meeting or event, but you MUST discuss these things with your children and your spouse. More stress is added when the fall semester starts and the first bell rings. If we forget to tell our children that we can’t pick them up because our boss schedules an unexpected meeting, or if our children forget to tell us that their football practice or their ballet class was cancelled that means we will be more stressed and more likely to get sick as a result. If you find yourself unable to sit down to discuss your schedules with your family members remember to text or call as things come up.
Make sure you wear a watch and check it often. If your child does not have a watch get one for your child BEFORE school starts or during the first few days of school. Having a watch and keeping track of track of the time will help reorient your child to the idea of having and maintaining a routine. During the summer months we often go on vacation and our schedules change. We often leave our calendars and watches behind and don’t keep track of time like we do when we our back home and doing life the way we are use to. Wearing a watch helps keep children and educators accountable as they go about their day.
When the bell rings and the day is over take time to make sure your children get their homework done. When discussing schedules account for homework time and make time to help your children or make sure they can get tutoring from a teacher or a private tutor if you cannot help. Factor your children into your schedule and take some time for your children during the week. Parents and teachers can often become busy with work and children can take a back seat to other priorities that they have. It is also important to take time for household chores and other non-related school activities. These things should be discussed with parents and children to ensure that everyone is on the same page. During the school year our lives often get busy and we can forget to discuss our schedules and events that are coming up. Problems are soon to follow if we do not take time to discuss things.
Problems also arise when we do not take breaks. It is important to take time to relax and unwind every so often. Life often becomes busy with football, and dance, and church and choir, and everything else under the sun, and it is important to take a break sometime. Too much activity can cause burn out and/or illness. Students and teachers become less effective when they do not take breaks and deny themselves the opportunity to rest and have fun.
In a few weeks the Back to School displays will be taken down and life will change again as we head into the fall- and get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Right now everything is just beginning so it is important to be intentional as we transition into fall. This becomes even important if we are in school or if we are in education. Life can be very stressful during this time of year, but it can also be one of the best times of year if you brace yourself and adjust as summer fades into fall. There is so much to celebrate during this time of year and hopefully these suggestions will help make it easier as the seasons change and we head into the final months of 2016