Summer is shorter than we like and soon we will be preparing for transitioning back to school. Everyone in your family might have many emotions about this transition, some being happy, sad, anxious, or fearful. You might be thinking about family routines and how to get back into the groove. Creating a smooth transition back to school can help you start the year strong.
Listen to everyone’s feelings
It might not feel so matter of fact to start back to school, end summer, and start routines. Gather as a family to chat about all the feelings of school. Hear about everyone’s feelings without judgment or application to your feelings. According to Dr. Becky Kennedy, one of our jobs as parents is to listen to our kids with empathy. When there is a transition, it is important to check in and be empathetic about feelings.
Work as a team
Show support for everyone by working as a team. Chat about what support everyone needs and how to work together on challenges. Work together to see how to set up success for everyone. Practical examples of this are how to partner up for study time, meal prep, laundry, and other family responsibilities.
One of my clients reminded me that everyone needs a different kind of support. Each of you and each of your children will need different support this year. Look around to establish a bigger team that includes a therapist, coach, cleaning service, concierge service, medical team, and more. It is well worth the investment for everyone to do their best during the school year.
Good boundaries help us balance work and play. Those boundaries include time blocks for work and self-care for adults and kids. Discuss with your family how to set up boundaries and why adhering makes a difference for everyone. Ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share a boundary that is important to them.
Routines of all types help us make life easier, simpler, and more peaceful. Get back into your routines by starting small. That might be starting a new bedtime routine like plugging in devices early in the evening. Start prepping back-to-school meals with your family to encourage dinner time together. Write out a chart of routines so that everyone can reference this.
Addressing transitions could be something new to your family. Take the opportunity during a family meeting to deepen conversations as the school year begins. Start these conversations two weeks out from the first day of school so that you have ample time to meet as a family.