Back to School Routines and Rituals

It’s that time again. BACK. TO. SCHOOL.  Whether your child is going physically or virtually, it is important to start some routines or rituals.  Here is my advice for this year:

First: Sleep is Crucial.

Make sure children get enough sleep. Since having the longest Spring Break ever, some of us have just been plain o’ feral about when we go to bed or wake up.  Pick a week and start to practice. Make this a family event seeing that, even the adults need some sleep.

Second: Prep the Night Before.

Let’s make sure that we all have the things we need to succeed. My parents were especially good at making sure that we were prepared for the next day. That meant picking out clothes the night before, packing lunch, and all the book bags by the door so that we are ready to go. Sounds a bit army basic training, but it actually worked.  This year, however, some may learn at home. I suggest that you and your child create a space for learning. Make it comfortable and ready for the morning to start the day. Do it together, so that they know that “we” are in this together and we want the best.

Third: Designate Family Time.

I know that I am old fashioned, however, start eating at the table again, even if it is two nights a week. As I look over at my table, filled with stacks and stacks of folded laundry, I remember what it used to look like in its former days, before life hit…ok, I digress.

No, really start eating at the table.

These times are precious and we are always on the go nowadays. The world drastically changed and now it is time to go back and make conversation, listen to each other, give advice, and laugh again. Families need this more than ever. Go back with me, remember when you sat at the table with your folks? Remember those conversations? Remember how they made you feel? Let’s start that revival. We all need that closeness again. Put the phones on silent for an hour, listen to each other and just soak up this memory. If you need conversation starters, there are questions for every age on Pinterest, try thefamilydinnerproject.org,  or during the week you can appoint a member to ask questions for dinner with the family.

Finally: Perspective is Key.

Remember that you and your family are valuable. Be grateful and thankful for the privilege of all the seconds, minutes, hours, and days. Some days will be tough. Some will be full of love and somedays, you are glad you made it! It is ok. Do what is best for your family and yourself.  Kindness and support takes ZERO effort.
Now, let me put the clothes away and surprise my family with a clean table, candles, fine china (meaning the cutest paper plates), and Market Street food.  My first question for dinner conversation is “How long do you think it took Mommy to get all these clothes put away before dinner? The first one that is right, gets to cut their brownie piece first.”

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