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Three strategies for a smoother return to school

Aug 27, 2021
By Ayah Sarhan – Certified Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) Instructor & Coach 

'Whether you prefer being in a structured routine, or enjoying a free style unstructured day, there are three strategies that can help you enjoy school time more.'

The kids are back to school!

So how does this make you feel? Are you excited, relieved, or concerned about getting back to school routine?

Some mothers communicate a sense of relief and happiness that the kids are back in school and that they are being supervised with activities that will help grow them intellectually and build their character. They feel that there is more space and time during the day to do things for their own self care and wellbeing. They can do the things that they have been delaying for a while. They are not consumed by the need to think for activities that would keep the kids busy especially if they are young.

But some other mothers dread the thought of waking up early, going through the same routine (preparing lunch boxes, bags, dropping kids off to school and picking them up, study or afternoon activity lessons, etc).

Whether you prefer being in a structured routine, or enjoying a free style unstructured day, there are three strategies that can help you enjoy school time more.

  1. Establish a vision:

Write down in your journal/diary notebook how would you like your day to flow. It really helps if you can think of what would make you feel accomplished and relaxed. It could be things that you do for yourself (personal self-care) or at work (that could include house work) or for others (your: kids, partner, parents, siblings, colleagues…). 

  1. Clearly agree on your goals as a family after a thoughtful discussion:

Now that you established an overall vision, you can go into specifics. I would highly recommend you do some thinking on your own before the discussion. Also, make sure the timing for the discussion is appropriate for everyone involved. If you are not used to these discussions, it could take you a couple of days to set and agree on family goals and their translation into specific activities. So in case you prefer structure, have a conversation with family members and agree on time allocation for each activity and hang it somewhere visible to you and them.

If you prefer a more flexible flow for the day, discuss with your family members what you expect from them and if there are certain tasks that you can start to delegate to them. Make sure to talk about options in case you needed external help (e.g. someone to drop off and pick up the kids or registering for bus service….)

  1. Be open and flexible to review and make changes to your agreement. It didn’t work out, so what?! Try again and talk about what didn’t work out and other available options.

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