School is right around the corner and it is possible to ease the transition for everyone involved. For some children, it is their first experience, for others, it is a transition to bigger schools. Whatever the situation, as a parent you want to do whatever you can to make it easier for them. The summer has been a time for lazy days, lemonade stands and daily trips to the pool. It's been about staying up later than usual and sleeping in till your internal clock wakes you up. Unfortunately, that is all about to come to an abrupt stop until next summer rolls around.
Instead of waiting until the last minute to drastically rock your kid's boat, slowly ease into it. By taking small steps now, you will ultimately ease the pain and frustration later on. We can't expect our children to transition from little structure to complete structure on their own. We need to help them out and get their bodies prepared for a different schedule altogether. They will be ready and excited for school to start, slowly leaving the lazy days of summer behind.
Adjust to new routine. Ease into the new schedule. Adjusting to more structured time is a huge adjustment on the whole family. So, start now by moving the bedtime back to an earlier time. Get the kids used to getting up and going earlier in the morning. Preparing a little at a time will create less struggle later on.
Open the lines of communication. This is a great time to start alleviating the stress and anxiety of starting school. For younger kids, reading books is a great tool. For older children, just talking with them and asking questions will let them know you are tuned in and available. Take a trip to the school and walk around and get acquainted.
Out with the old. Start going through your kids' wardrobes now and weeding out everything they've outgrown. Take advantage of some summer sales and stock up on the fall basics. This will help them get dressed faster in the morning--not having to skim through outfits that don't fit anymore.
Create a picture album. One more great tip is to create a picture album of summer memories for the kids to look over and enjoy. Print out some of your favorite pictures and let the kids help you put together an album of their favorite highlights.
Everyone loves the carefree feeling of summer, but eventually it is time to get back to a schedule. Do what you can to create a fun transition for everyone involved, and enjoy recreating memories as well.
Leslie Gail is a lifestyle expert with a wealth of experience in both tv and radio. She hosts her own radio show at blogtalkradio.