The excitement of the first days of school are always followed by what I call the back-to-school letdown.
Never fear, here are a few ideas to perk up the kids and save your sanity:
- Embrace the power of food: I don’t know about your kids, but mine always become a lot more pleasant after they’ve had their after-school snack. An easy-to-grab snack stash makes everyone’s lives easier.
- Ditch the homework (at least temporarily): Give the kids a break between school and their homework. Bring snacks so you can stay and play on the school playground at pickup time; head to the backyard when you get home, or just do a little cloud-gazing from the front stoop to let them decompress from their busy day.
- Don’t forget chores: Kids love routine, and so do many of us adults. Even when the tasks (read: chores) aren’t that much fun, it’s helpful for kids to know what to expect each day. Plus, they gain a sense of accomplishment after doing something for the greater good of the family. It’s a win-win!
- Give the kids – and yourself – a break: Things don’t always go as planned. Whether you forgot the soccer gear or are running late for music lessons because someone had a meltdown, take a deep breath and remember that everything will be OK. You’ll save your blood pressure and model resilience for the kids.
Still need a little help with the back-to-school letdown? Make sure your kids are getting enough sleep. It never hurts to be well-rested!