Before you know it, the holidays are over in a flash and the school bells are ringing again to signal the start of another term for your child. Creating a well-oiled routine sooner rather than later will reduce stress and tension, increase productivity and generally improve your way of life. With that in mind, we have highlighted 5 key areas to get you off on the right foot from the very beginning.
1. Get organised
As with most activities, being organised does not start on the day of the event. It requires careful, thought-out planning so that everyone involved understands his or her role to ensure the routine has the best chance to succeed. Getting organised the night before really allows you to save vital time in the morning to ensure you can focus on the main tasks at hand, such as washing, eating your breakfast and getting everyone dressed and out the door. Carrying out tasks, for example, packing up the school bags, preparing the lunchboxes, getting all the clothing ready to slip on can be the difference between a lovely start to the day versus a frantic, stressful nightmare, so it is important, where possible to do what you can before the main event kicks off. We have also found that by having a simple family planner on the wall for all to see can really help iron out a lot of the main obstacles that can be thrown at you on a daily basis.
2. Eat breakfast altogether
In the blink of an eye, you are out of the door and on your way to work via the school(s). It is important for any family to spend quality time together and to start the day off on the right foot. Simply by all sitting down together for breakfast around the kitchen table to discuss what you have planned for your day ahead can be a relaxing, satisfying and enjoyable experience. Again, this activity will require a strategy to ensure the desired end goal can be achieved. Always give your children a selection of cereals to choose from on the table, because one option will never be enough. Another important tip at breakfast time in a busy household would be to have breakfast (when possible) before getting dressed in order to reduce the probability of a re-run should any accidents and spills occur when eating!
3. Pack a lunchbox full of energy
It is extremely important that the lunchbox you give you child for school is both healthy and balanced to ensure they can maximise their output both inside and outside the classroom. The contents should include food that is rich in nutrients that provide their active bodies with the necessary energy they crave rather than the all too common foods that are high in both sugar and saturated fats. To create a well-balanced diet, you should include a mixture of starchy foods, protein rich foods and vegetables.
4. Make homework fun
When you mention the word ‘homework’ to any child you are more than likely to receive a negative comment in return! There are many techniques that parents can adopt to make homework not seem so bad, and in fact to actually make it a fun activity. An important tip is to make the workplace, which is generally in the bedroom, a pleasant place to actually carry out the homework. Make your children’s desk fun, vibrant and interesting so that they actually want to sit at it or perhaps on occasions, build a cool den and allow them to work from inside there with a bedside lamp for light. Another method that will help to get your child into a routine is to provide them with incentives. For example, if they love to play on their iPad, then, should they complete their end of the bargain with their homework, then allow them an allocated time period on it before bedtime. Everyone loves a good deal!
5. Get back into the bedtime routine
A good bedtime routine is the backbone to any happy family, however, with that said, rules and routines naturally get ‘slackened’ when out of school term time, especially with the late sunny nights during the summer holidays and family movies enjoyed together on the sofa. A week before the holidays are due to end, start a slightly stricter routine with earlier nights so that it’s not such a big shock when school starts again the following week. Suggest getting into pyjamas a little earlier, and going to the bedroom to read a book or magazine or have a bit of chill time with some music - this will prepare your child to settle down for bed and calm down any adrenaline from the day.