by Jennifer Yarbrough
My kids are already dreading Back to School. This breaks my heart because I was a kid that loved school and couldn’t wait to go back. How can I get my kids back on schedule and motivated for a great year?
Dear Motivated Mama,
I totally understand your problem and your kids’ perspective—it can be so hard to get out of the easy, laid-back routine of the summertime. The best thing to do is to start them back on their routine a week or so before they go back. This may be tricky, but start by making them go to bed ten minutes earlier, then fifteen, until you get them back to their school year bed time. Then start waking them up in the mornings the same way.
Now that you’ve got them started back on their school routine, and they may be loathing it, do some things to get them psyched about school—let them plan a playdate or sleepover with a few friends they haven’t seen all summer, let them help with school shopping, and have them set some academic and extracurricular goals for the year. After the first day, take them out for a sweet treat, and then spend time letting them tell you about their day. Share some of your past “first day of school” memories and then talk about their hopes and goals for the year, use this time to connect with them. These days will be ones you will cherish for years to come.
Dear Minorcan Mama,
My kids are taking their lunch to school this year for the first time. What tips do you have for making packing lunches easier?
Dear Lunchtime Woes ,
When it comes to packing lunches, preparation is the key! Set aside a place in your refrigerator and pantry specifically for lunch supplies. When you bring home items from the grocery store, prepare as much as you can for the week ahead. Chop fruits and veggies and place in baggies. Portion out chips and crackers in their bags, as well. When it is time to make the lunches, you will be happy you are so organized. Now on to the age old parenting question—make lunches the “night before” or “morning of.” Either one works and it depends on your preference, but making it the night ahead assures it is done should any morning-of emergencies should arise—like a missing shoe or a bad hair day. The night before place all items in your child’s lunchbox and place in the refrigerator. A frozen pack assures your child’s lunch stays cool and fresh and can be added the next morning on the way out of the door. Designate a special area in your kitchen for lunchboxes. All students, Kindergarten and up, can be responsible to place their lunchbox in their special spot right when they come home. You can also show them how to place the ice pack back in the freezer and remove any items that might be trash or leftovers. Preparation and routine go a long way with packing lunches. Dig in!
Minorcan Mama is a 30-something, St. Augustine Native Minorcan, trying her hardest to raise her modern kids with an appreciation of their roots, their history and a love of the great out-of-doors. Send her your questions about family, parenting, relationships and whatever else you can think of to firstname.lastname@example.org She loves being “social,” at www.facebook.com/minorcanmama and www.twitter.com/minorcanmama Also, stay tuned for her new Website and Blog coming this month!