Parents are often reminded that structure is ideal for healthy functioning family life and kids respond well when daily routines are in place. However, for parents, these structures and routines can be the very thing that drives us round the bend as we extend ourselves to the limit by trying to meet timetables and the day-to-day needs of our family.
Need help easing yourself back into the school routine?
We often long for the school holidays just as much as the kids do. We tend to relax a little more as we exit the whirlwind of the daily mad rush of getting our kids to and from school, homework, extra-curricular activities, meals on the table and appropriate bedtimes.
School holidays are great! Especially the Christmas/Summer break that last for at least six weeks giving families time to reset, recharge and unite with family and friends at home or other places.
Even for those parents who still work over these breaks, the day-to-day grind can slow down to a pace that allows us all to breath.
But what happens when it is all over? The late morning breakfasts, later bedtimes and the “every kid for themselves” dinners are over and it’s ready to go back to school?
Like kids, the back-to-school transition can have just as much impact on parents as it does on kids. The fun is over, and the “carefree parent” has left the building while the routine master is back in the house!
How can we overcome the holiday blues and support ourselves and our children to ease back into the school routine?
In the days or weeks leading up the big day:
- Slowly re-establish routine – sleep/bedtimes/mealtimes
- Get ready together – include kids with preparing school supplies, uniforms, maybe explore new lunch box recipes together
- Encourage positive school conversations
- When school does return, provide opportunities for kids to play and relax at the end of the day.
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Connecting with our kids is key to making sure they feel supported when returning back to school and overcome any holiday blues. We also need to remind ourselves that this can be a challenging time for us too. So be kind to yourself and allow yourself to slowly return to the school routine. It’s okay if you don’t have time to iron that uniform or bake those healthy muffins the night before. Our kids are watching how we cope with change and can model these behaviours. Sometimes we need to stop, breath and enjoy the moment.
By Sonia Adolphs, Acting Parentline Manager
If you are a parent, carer or family member living in Queensland or the Northern Territory, and need any parenting support, you can call Parentline on 1300 30 1300 from 8am – 10pm seven days a week, for the cost of a local phone call, or webchat/email www.parentline.com.au.