Well, it's official.... Summer is over. As if that wasn't already abundantly clear for our children. With the start of the school year, everything seems to change for families. From the early wake ups, full days of school, afternoon slump, homework routine, and earlier bedtimes; life has been looking a lot different these past weeks.
Transitions are hard on everyone. Whenever we experience an ending or a new beginning it offers challenges to our routine, our mindset, and our physical selves. We as adults usually recongnize this and find ways to accommodate for it, however to our children such transitions can be monumentally devastating and leave them at a complete loss.
While the sometimes "minor" adjustments that children must make during this time of year may not seem to us adults as something that would derail us, to a child it can be paralyzing. Once we parents are able to realize just how many changes our children are experiencing and the ultimate stress that it causes, we are on the road towards improving their security, comfort, and happiness.
It is especially important during these times of transition to continue to maintain a consistent routine and encourage healthy sleep habits, good nutrition, and make it a priority to spend good quality time together in order to keep things working as smoothly as possible.
Carve out some time for some free play, whether that is throwing a ball around, pretending to be superheroes, or building legos. Sit down in a comfortable spot and read a book together. And make sure that you have dinner with one another, electronic free. Parents who have dinner with their children consistency have better relationships with their children and show that their family time is important.
Try not to "sweat the small stuff" and focus on making your child feel good about themselves through positive praise. Highlight the goodness that you see in them and the community around you. Try offering gratitude through a "Gratitude Jar" or simply by stating the things you are thankful for.
Most importantly try to relax and take care of yourself. Even if for only 10 minutes a day. If we are able to carve out just a little bit of time for ourselves, we will have more energy, more patience, and less stress, Only then can we be the best parents that we strive to be.