Sunday, June 5, 2016

‘Back to School’ Blues

June ……
The start of the blessed monsoons
The fragrance of wet Earth
The relief from heat and grime

June …….
The start, also, of the new school year
The smell of brand new books
The end of lazy sleepy mornings

As a mother of school-going kids, June is a month pregnant with so many things, most of them to do with the resumption of the school routine after a relaxed summer break. While most of May is just whiled away enjoying the relaxed pace of life, the appearance of June is a reminder of sorts. With old raincoats to try on for size, covering of the text books and notebooks, ensuring the bottles and tiffin boxes are intact and in place, and uniforms and shoes to buy, the first week of June passes off in a flurry of activity, and before you  know it, the first day of school has arrived!

For many mothers, this can be an extremely stressful period. But it need not be. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can not only make this a stress-free time, but also one where the family bonds together and has fun. Really? How?

Be Organised
Well, some of us are naturally more organised, while some of us are not. However, where school is concerned, it certainly pays to be more organised. So on that last day of school, make sure you put away all the things that won’t be needed for the next two months ready and in their regular place. This makes it easier to retrieve them. I remember a first day morning filled with panic when we could not locate my daughter’s shoes one of the years when she was younger. I learnt my lesson then. Taking that extra bit of effort saves many a nerve-wracking moments later.

Make Your Kids Responsible
No matter how old, or young, your child, communicate to her or him that it is his responsibility to ensure readiness for school. Empower your children to manage their stuff, be it ensuring all books are ready, all projects are done, the bag is packed, the uniform is ready and so forth. Of course, you are there to step in and help them wherever they require help, but making them responsible from an early age will go a long way in fostering lifelong self-reliance in them.

Have a ‘Getting-Ready-For-School’ Day
About a week before the school is about to re-open, get the family together, encourage all members to brainstorm and come up with a list of things that need to be in place for the first day of school. Encourage the children to come up with various aspects. Make this a fun brainstorming session, you can even have prizes for the one who comes up with the most valuable suggestion. Together, allot responsibilities for who does what. Put up the list in a place where everyone can easily access it, and tick off tasks as they get done. This makes the entire activity a fun and family thing, and also creates positivity in children about going back to school.

Avoid Leaving Things for the Last Minute
This one sounds pretty obvious, but let us be honest – how many of us have left buying the raincoat till the day it actually starts pouring? How many of us have sat late into the night on the last day of the vacation covering books? Trust me, doing a little bit every day is far better than getting into a crisis at the 11th hour.

The First Morning
Often, getting kids to wake up after late mornings becomes a task for most mothers. What has worked for me is preparing the kids from at least a week in advance, by talking about the school re-opening day, and slowly getting them to wake up earlier with every passing day. Most importantly, talking to them positively about school on the night before and getting them excited will result in them waking up with a positive frame of night the next morning.

Most importantly, learn to remain calm and centered. Waking up 15 minutes earlier than you normally do will give you that extra space to start your morning in a relaxed and calm manner. Remember, your kids pick up your moods and energies, so make sure you vibrate with peace, love and harmony as you send out your kids on their first day into the new school year!