If you’ve got school-age kids or you’re
heading back to school again this Fall,
you know it’s about to get really crazy.
And I’m not just talking about trying to
get all of the school supplies and books.
I’m talking about heading back into
the frenzy of homework, extracurricular
activity schedules, meal planning,
childcare, transportation and getting
to bed at a reasonable time.
Remember that kind of frenzy?
A Little Sanity, Please
There are a few things you can do to
make this a healthier, saner school year
for everyone in the family.
No, there is no miracle organizational
system I can share with you, no simple
way to plan meals everyone will love.
Just a few things to try to remember
that will make a difference over time.
1. One Meal Together
Whether you decide on a leisurely
breakfast (which means you have to
get up earlier) or make your dinner
hour sacred, plan on having one meal
together as a family…one minimum!
You need that time to reconnect and
make sure everyone is on the same
page, to give attention to your loved
ones, and “break bread” together.
Research shows kids reap big mental
and physical health benefits from this.
You will, too.
2. Limit The Activities
This may be hard to do if your child
is into everything, but limit their
extracurricular activities to 1 or 2.
By the time you add in practices and
rehearsals, extra events or parties,
and end-of-the-year tournaments,
you and your child are going to be
in over your heads with any more
than 1 or 2 commitments.
Burnout isn’t pretty and doesn’t teach
your child helpful life lessons.
Pick one thing and give it 100%.
3. Get A Weekly Goal Board
Put a whiteboard or chalkboard up
in your kitchen or dining room.
Put all family members’ names on it.
Every week, each person writes the goal
they are working on that week:
get to bed on time, finish my book report,
eat one more veggie every day.
Whatever matters to each person.
It’s goal setting done “real basic.”
What you see each day is what
your brain continues to process.
Everyone helps with accountability.
No Miracles, Just Life
That’s It! No miracles, just three
things to do this year that over time
will make a significant difference in
how things go in your household.
Less is more, more time together
is good, and keeping your eye on
the ball helps in reaching the goal.
It Does Take A Village
If you don’t have children of your
own, consider asking your neighbor,
family member, or co-worker if there
is something you can do this school
year to help things run more smoothly.
After he or she recovers from the shock
of hearing someone wants to help lighten
the load, be assured there are things
you can do: transportation, mentoring
or tutoring, helping out with a school
or extracurricular activity.
When it comes to helping kids, you’ll
always get more than you’ll ever give.
Now here’s to a great new school year!