As parents and kids come to the sad (or not-so-sad) realization that the start of school is just around the corner, many will find themselves scrambling to transition from the lazy days of summer back to more structured routines.
Tweens may be particularly hard hit by the upcoming changes, particularly if they’ve gotten used to sleeping in late or spent a little too much time in front of the computer or video games.
To help make things easier for everyone, we’ve got some suggestions for 5 things to do before tweens go back to school next week.
1. Get sleep schedules back on track
As kids move closer to the teenager years, their bodies require more sleep and their natural internal body clock changes. This makes it increasingly challenging for them to wake up early in the morning for school, and can result in some nasty early morning encounters between tweens and parents. In order to make waking up early for school a little easier, it’s a good idea to try to get them back to a more normal bedtime and wake-up time. Easier said than done, but it’s worth trying.
2. Back to school shopping
You probably don’t need to buy your kids a whole new wardrobe for the school year, but everyone likes to have at least a couple new things to wear as they head back to school. Because tweens can go through some pretty major growth spurts, it’s wise to have them try on the clothes in their closets and clear out anything that no longer fits. This will help identify the items that you must purchase sooner than later. There’s nothing like realizing all of their pants are suddenly two inches too short on the first cool fall day!
3. Discuss expectations for the coming months
The tween years are a time of rapid growth in more ways than one, and increased responsibility and freedoms are often a part of this growth. Perhaps your son or daughter will be walking to or from school by themselves for the first time this year, or will be expected to pack their own school snacks or lunch. Now is the perfect time to have some candid discussions about your expectations around responsibilities, homework, extra-curricular activities, technology use and safety, to name just a few.
4. Make a plan for school lunches and snacks
If your tween doesn’t already participate to some degree in the packing of their school lunches and snacks, then this year might be the time to get them to start. Involving your kids in the planning and making of their lunches and snacks can help ensure that the food actually gets eaten – and of course it relieves the pressure on parents! Now is a great time to have the kids brainstorm some healthy lunch and snack ideas for the upcoming school year – you’ll both appreciate this in the weeks to come.
5. Have one last summer celebration
As the back-to-school countdown ramps up, a little anxiety often creeps in on the part of both parents and kids as they scramble to get ready and worry about what the upcoming year may bring. Be sure to make some time for fun in the last weeks before school starts. Here are just a few possibilities for an end-of-summer celebration:
- day at the beach
- picnic with friends
- trip to an amusement park or fair
- family barbecue
- end-of-summer party with friends from school
- day trip
- drive-in movie
Now it’s your turn. What will you be doing to get your tween ready to go back to school?
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)