Reduce anxiety and create smoother routines with some routine adjustments!
- Create a Schedule – And stick to it! Make a visual schedule using images and colors and print many copies. Keep one in the kitchen pantry, the mudroom and their room. You will be surprised how often they check it. Some parents find one schedule for the school day and one for after-school activities is best.
- Prep the night before – Clothes, lunch, backpack, library books, water bottles, etc. If you know clothes or shoes are the trigger than have multiple choices available. If mealtimes are difficult, have a set menu for each day of the week posted. Preparing for the melt-down before it happens will save you time and stress.
- Talk – Tell your children the night before what to expect the next day. Talk during breakfast about what the day will look like. Discuss anything you know might create anxiety when they hear a word like party. Talking with help alleviate concerns and help them feel prepared to face the day.
- Sleep – The most important part of the puzzle! Start the new sleep schedule a week before school starts with 15-minute increments getting you to the school year bedtime. No screen time 1 hr. before bed. Give enough time for bedtime routines and some complaining and water breaks! Stay patient.. this task requires a lot of parental patience but is worth it.
- Communicate – If your child had a rough night of sleep or a difficult morning, let his teacher know. Sometimes a few extra minutes of a calming activity upon entering school can make a big difference.