Back to School Parents Survival Guide

Back to School Parents Survival Guide

It’s August now and the new school year is just around the corner. It is time to think about getting your family back into the regular routine of early mornings and earlier bed times.  Children need structure, especially during the school year but it can be hard to transition from the lazy hot days of summer back into a routine that works during the school year.  So here is the back to school parents survival guide to help ease that transition.

Back to Bedtime

It isn’t easy to go from late nights to an earlier bedtime, it doesn’t matter if you’re an adult or a child.  The first couple of days of school after your sleep schedule has been out of whack makes for cranky and tired kids.  It is far easier on everyone to transition to an earlier bedtime.  Pick a regular bedtime and start your child off going to bed a little earlier each night until they are going to bed at the right time.  This also means that they are going to be awake much earlier in the morning.   You may want to sleep in yourself but you need to encourage this behavior instead.  Start taking early morning outings or let them help you make breakfast, it doesn’t matter what as long as you move them to a more reasonable bedtime.

Get Them Excited About School

A new school year doesn’t have to mean the end of all things that are fun.  Remind them that they will be meeting old friends again and possibly making some new ones.  Encourage them to try new things this school year like joining different clubs or extracurricular activities.  As kids get older they have a little more choices in the classes they take and the clubs they can join.  Highlight the things they like and the friends they will get to see.  Here is some help getting them excited about back to school.

New Stuff!

One of the best things about going back to school is all the new stuff you get to buy.  From new clothes to school supplies, allow your kids to help in the choices.  Let them pick binders in the colors they like or turn plain ones into works of art with stickers and paint.

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Nobody likes to see summer end so take the time and say goodbye.  Have one last family trip or barbecue to mark the end of the summer.  Take the family to check out the fireworks that happen on Labor Day weekend.  Talk about all the cool things you will get to do in the fall.  Summer will be here again before you know it.

Basic Tips for Traveling with Kids

Basic Tips for Traveling with Kids

Traveling is a wonderful experience for you as a family, you get to see new places and experience new things.  However, every parent who has ever traveled with kids knows how exhausting that can be.  You have to lug twice as much stuff and without planning you will not only be lost, but lost with very cranky children.  Here are some of the basic tips for traveling with kids.

Teach Your Kids About the Destination

Once you figured out your destination then it is time to get your kids involved in the trip.  Planning is crucial to making your trip a success so let’s your kids participate in this stage too.  Take them to the library or on the internet and show them some interesting places to see at your destination and let them pick some that they would like to see.  You can help build excitement, find out what each member of the family is interested in doing.  You can take all this into account when you are putting your travel itinerary together.

Are We There Yet?

Keeping your kids entertained is one of the hardest parts of traveling, especially when they are younger and don’t really have any concept of time.  Nobody wants to spend hours listening to “Are we there yet?”  As much as airports try and be family friendly they aren’t quite there yet.  You need to have a plan to keep the littles well fed and amused on your journey.  Here are a couple of ideas to keep them amused while traveling.

  • Give them a kid friendly camera they can use to take pictures on and document the trip
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Download some apps that allow them to track progress on the trip
  • Portable DVD players

While vacations can be a great way to enjoy yourselves as a family, always be prepared when traveling with kids.  Even the most well behaved child will get tired, bored and hungry fairly quickly.  Pack lots of easy to eat snacks that won’t make a huge mess, and some baby wipes just in case.  Bring lots of interactive games and toys that don’t necessarily have tons of pieces to get lost.  Naps are your friend, vacations often mean staying up later and missing the normal bed times so even older kids can benefit from a little quiet time in the afternoons.

Most of all don’t forget to enjoy yourself, this is a vacation after all!