Staying Connected When School Starts
Summer is the season when things slow down and provides time for families to reconnect. However, as summer winds down and families begin to navigate the start of fall, there can be many transitions in-between, and tension can run high. Stress usually begins for parents when they start back-to-school shopping for their children. This tension continues to rise throughout the rest of the school year, as parents and children cope with a hectic lifestyle filled with multiple activities, long school days and of course, homework.
Below are 5 ways you can stay connected:
1. Routines! Establish a routine from the time they transition from school to bedtime. When children arrive home, include approximately 30 min for them to get a snack and enjoy being home, before beginning chores/homework.
2. Dinner time: Dinner is a great opportunity to connect, and it starts with cooking! Don’t be afraid to include, even your littles in meal prep or setting the table. During dinner time, take advantage of check-ins, listen with intention, and share about your day. Highs and lows for everyone are a great start! Take a look at some of these conversation starters found here. Setting a standard for electronic free dinner is encouraged as well!
3. Practice Gratitude: Sharing (one or more) things you are grateful for helps all of you grow that gratitude muscle individually, while also engaging in positive interactions with one another. This can be done wherever it fits best into your family's schedule. Just start sharing!
4. Bedtime stories: For your littles, establish several books to read each night and stick to it. Consistency is key here. For your older kiddos who enjoy reading to themselves, do not be afraid to grab a book and read next to them! This is a quiet way to connect, that can lead to fun conversations.
5.Make the weekends count! Take interest in something they enjoy and bring back those summer moments. From baking or cooking together, to having a movie night, playing board games, or even working in the garden.
Wishing our families well as they transition into this upcoming school year! If you find that your kiddo is struggling with school transitions, anxiety, separation issues, tantrums, or other related concerns, reach out to Clinical Counseling Associates of Kansas City and we will get you connected with one of our Child and Family Therapists.
By: Victoria Weddle