Managing the Back to School Transition
By Sitara Hewitt online at livingwellwithSitara.com
Managing emotions and a hectic schedule when transitioning kids back to school
With the lazy days of summer behind us, our attention turns to getting back into the routine of the school year. This time of year can bring about mixed feelings: Parents look forward to having more time to concentrate on work and their own priorities. Children look forward to making new friends and having fun filled days at school.
Yet at the same time we begin to feel nostalgic check about the carefree days that July and August have brought us. Plus sometimes apprehension about the unknown of what a new school year will bring.
With busier schedules looming and more obligations starting to fill our days I have found a useful thing to remember is that attitude is 90% of our success and circumstance is 10%. The key to having a wonderful transition into September is all about getting our attitudes and perspectives in the right place starting now.
Our children to will pick up on our attitude towards back to school. If there is any apprehension or fear for disappointment about the summer being over we can help to correct that by embracing this new wonderful phase that fall brings.
So what are some ways that we can make this back to school year the best year ever?
Both the words we use to describe this new time of year and the way we visualize it going are more powerful tools than we often realize. For example, if we start groaning and moaning about the early mornings that are about to begin, and about all of the busy driving we will be doing, then “back to school” starts to become more of a chore than a joy.
Preparation is key. When the busier schedule starts we want to avoid feel rushed and stressed. Healthy food is one of the things to have in place when schedules start to become more full.
Meal Planning is Key
I like to get a big chalkboard and plan out seven days worth of meals. I am a huge fan of one pot meals that keep it simple, healthy and nourishing so that you know what groceries to have in the house and what to throw together after work each evening.
I also love to whip up one or two casseroles and keep them frozen in the fridge for those nights when cooking is just not on the top of the list. Here is a delicious and super easy lentil stew that will provide a tasty protein and fiber rich meal for the whole family that you can whip up in about 20 minutes.
When I am in a time crunch I boil up some whole-grain noodles with frozen peas, add butter, salt and nutritional yeast put it in a hot container. My son enjoys it very much. I am also a huge fan of taking a whole-grain wrap slathering it with sunflower seed nut butter (allergy free) and a little bit of natural jam, rolling it up and putting it in his lunch. Stock up on organic cheese sticks, organic yogurts and tons of bananas apples and grapes and carrots with hummus so that you can throw in a little extra nutrition into their boxes.
I am a big fan of salad in a jar. You simply boil up some quinoa & put it in a mason jar, then add chopped up kale, spinach, some chopped up Apple, some black olives, red pepper, avocado, walnut pieces…. and then put a little dressing in a container separate from that jar.
My favorite dressing is olive oil with vinegar, lemon, honey, mustard and salt. When you get to work open up the jar pour in the dressing, shake it up and you have a filling, nutritious fiber & protein rich salad with tons of fresh raw greens. Eating healthy is key to keeping your energy up when suddenly you have a lot of extra driving organizing and back to school prep to do.
This easy green veggie smoothie is so tasty that you’ll be amazed at what a strong impact it has on your energy, immunity and a flatter tummy. It’s great on the go.
Aside from the logistics of back to school there is an emotional component. You may find your child apprehensive or fearful or nervous. I find it’s important to not to brush aside those feelings but rather have an open dialogue allow your child to discuss their fears with you. The wonderful thing is each day is a new school and while they might have a tough time adjusting the first couple of days by the second or third week in they may have found someone that they can relate to in the class and their confidence will start to go up.
If we listen to them and acknowledge their feelings as valid often it’s a way to help these fears and worries dissolve. It also helps us to stay aware of how our child is doing in the classroom with education and to make sure there are no issues arising with bullying or cyber bullying.
My last and perhaps most important piece of advice is when the weekend comes, bring back that free, easy, lazy feeling of summer. This will help to lower stress levels in the whole family. It’s tempting to book up the weekends with social obligations classes and courses.
But it’s important to schedule in free time for every family member so that we can allow the days to unfold, recuperate from the busyness of the week, and also enjoy a little bit more of the beautiful warm fall weather that will soon turn to ice.
Finally don’t forget to get to bed early because that extra 30 minutes of sleep at night will help your days flourish and be much more enjoyable.
I wish you a wonderful fall filled with new and blessed experiences.
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