Are you wondering just how you are going to survive back to school this year? It’s usually such a fun and exciting time as we wrap up our summer vacations, rush to grab school supplies and go clothes shopping in preparation for the new school year ahead. And of course there’s the excitement of finally getting the kids back to school so maybe, just maybe you can grab a little me time! There’s no doubt that this start of the school year is far from normal and leaving most of us even more stressed (should we start ordering more wine?) Parents are left with some tough choices and no matter what options your schools give you, no doubt this will be a challenging year for all. So let’s take a peek at a few things we can do to help us survive the new norm.
Develop a schedule and routine - No matter if your kid is 5 or 15, they all do much better with a consistent daily schedule and routine. If you are doing virtual school, act like you are going to traditional school. Get up at the regular time, do your morning routine and get dressed like they would for school (okay, maybe drop the school uniform). Have a designated learning area for the kids in the home. If possible, have this separate from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house.
Stay social with peers - Perhaps one of the hardest things to do is to ensure that your kids have the social interactions they need and crave. If you're going virtual this year, this can present a challenge. If your kids are little, setting up virtual play dates (yes, we know how sad that sounds) where they can see their friends, play and chat is a great solution. As they get older, online video games and using various social apps is popular although never a parent’s favorite. No matter what the age, finding outdoor activities and sports where social distancing is possible is a good way to get them out of the house — think tennis, pickle ball, ping pong, passing a soccer ball, frisbee. By this point, I am sure you are all pros.
Staying ‘normal’ during crazy times - Our kids are strong and so resilient, but even they feel the strange and turbulent times we are in. One great tip to help us get through this madness is to try to find a way to feel as if things are ‘normal’ (whatever that even means anymore). Have any back to school traditions? Stick with them even though our current schooling options may have changed. Pick a few things that your family usually does around this time of year and do them! From those 1st day of school photos by the front door, to clothes and shoe shopping (granted this may be online for some), to a special ice cream treat after the first day classes are over, to sharing what they learned over the dinner table—keep them going. Keeping those lines of communication open is more important than ever as everyone is trying to work through this craziness.
Keeping them active and engaged - Many states across the US are putting a hold on sports at least temporarily. This can be heartbreaking for our kids that live and breathe all things sports. If your kid is unable to play like they are used to, why not set up sports time in their schedule. Use your backyard, go to a park, an empty field or wherever and let them practice their favorite sport. Sure, it won’t be the same but it will keep them active and perhaps provide them with a little sense of normalcy.
Finding some me time - It is important for us as parents to take a little time for ourselves as well. Whether it is in the morning, before the chaos begins or in the evening after the kiddos are sound asleep. Take a few minutes to prepare or decompress and find some calm for yourself. Whether that means taking a hot bath, journaling, or just enjoying some quiet time with your hot coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening. If you need a little help finding calm and happiness right now, read this blog. Be kind to yourself — you deserve it!
From a group of Moms here at PortoVino, with kids of different ages and stages, we get you! There are a lot of people dealing with all sorts of issues. Try to remember, no matter how stressful or crazy things are, this too shall pass. You got this! We are here for you if you ever need a word of cheer or just want to rant, feel free to live chat with us from our website. Cheers to getting through all this craziness while trying to keep your sanity. :)
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