Back to School Made Easier (For You and Your Kid!)
Three Tips to Make This The Best School Year Ever
It happens every year -- just when you get summer totally figured out, it’s time for your kids to go back to school. There are so many different parties, orientations and activities it makes my head spin! It can be stressful for adults, so I can imagine that our little ones are just as overwhelmed as we are.
It was important to me to make this transition a little easier on my boys, and in turn make our days a lot less hectic. I talked to friends, family, and of course Dr. Google, and I’ve found a few tricks that work for our family to help keep those epic meltdowns to a minimum.
Hopefully you’ll find something here that works for you, and I’d love for you to share any of your own tips as well!
Photo by Sarah Baker Photos
Make Mornings Count
By establishing a connection with your kiddos first thing in the morning, you have the opportunity to set the tone for the day. Adding an extra 15-20 minutes into your morning schedule to connect with your kids can end up saving a lot of time and energy at drop off.
You know your kids best, so choose something they love to connect with them. Some of our favorite morning activities are:
- Reminiscing about the previous day or weekend
- Reading a favorite book together
- Taking a quick walk around the block
- Doodling with crayons and craft paper
- Sharing breakfast with no screens
The key to this time together is full attention, which means eye contact, physical touch and full emotional availability. Kids crave our attention, and in my experience, when I'm in a rush, my kids respond by being extra difficult. When they feel this connection first thing in the morning, it is easier for me to get them out of the door on time and without tears.
Totally worth waking up a few minutes early!
Set A Schedule
Okay, I can admit I'm one of "those" moms with a set schedule for my kids. For example, my boys are young, so it's important for them to nap on a daily basis (I’m so jealous). Our days are always filled with different activities, but naps and bedtimes are the constants. An age-appropriate bedtime that you stick to as consistently as possible will help everyone feel rested and be their best at school or during organized activities.
One of our new family favorites is this DIY Weekly Learning Calendar that we use to visualize the week ahead. A calendar with pictures showing that on Tuesdays you go to soccer and on Thursdays you do dance will help the whole family see what's on the schedule, and will include your kid in the “planning” of the week.
For our family, a visual reminder of what we have coming up helps everyone know what to expect. With fewer surprises, we have a much smaller chance of a meltdown.
Always Have A Meal Plan
If your kids are anything like mine, the hangry stage is very real, and it’s a total nightmare. I've found that even though they get a snack at school, having a snack ready in the car or first thing when we get home is an absolute necessity.
For dinner, we like to eat super early. I’m talking like, 5:00 p.m. early. To make these early dinners a little more manageable for me, I typically serve my kids leftovers, then once they're fed, I have time to work on a more adult version of dinner for my husband and me.
There are a few go-to tricks I keep up my sleeve for weeknight dinners. First and foremost, I put my crockpot to work for me -- I included my favorite recipe below! I also am becoming a pro at freezer meals that are total lifesavers when I'm in a pinch.
These are just a few things I’ve been able to add into my routine that makes all our lives a little easier. What’s your parenting secret for keeping the tantrums at bay?
3-Ingredient Chopped Beef
(prep 6 mins, cook 6-8 hours, makes about 6 sandwiches)
- 1 chuck roast (any size)
- 1 packet of Italian dressing
- 1 can of beef consume
- Heat a large skillet to high and sear the roast on all sides until brown (about 2-3 minutes each side).
- Place in a crockpot and sprinkle with Italian dressing seasoning.
- Pour in 1 can of beef consume.
- Heat on LOW for 6-8 hours until beef is tender.
The mind behind My Stir Crazy Kitchen, Daisi Owens is an accounting whiz by day and a cooking enthusiast by night. As the mother of two boys, Daisi uses her blog to share easy family meals, sustainable lifestyle tips, and the occasional cocktail recipe for after the kids go to bed. Learn more about what’s cookin’ at mystircrazykitchen.com!