3 Parenting Tips For A Successful School Year

3 Parenting Tips For A Successful School Year


1. Our attitudes can make or break the experience! 

selective focus photography of woman and boy

It is easy to feel surmounting stress or anxiety when you realize that it is the beginning of August and school starts in a matter of weeks!

Did all of the back-to-school shopping get done?

Am I ready to get back to making school lunches, and projects that somehow fell off the radar until 10 pm the night before it’s due?

If we (meaning both parents/guardians and also education professionals) project a positive attitude about the back-to-school season, it can have a powerful impact on how our children feel about heading back to school. Some children may naturally be excited to get back to the grind, seeing their friends and favorite teachers daily. Other children may be naturally anxious or not looking forward to being without their parents, siblings, pets, and favorite toys. If we maintain a positive attitude and don’t let the overwhelming details take the stage in our minds, we can set our children up for success.


2. Establishing A Routine

Routines can get redundant at times, but can also be so necessary when going through transitions in life’s seasons, such as heading back to school after having months off. Establishing a solid but flexible routine can set the stage for an easier experience, taking the thought out of a lot of basic decisions that need to be made each day. 

When the expectations are clear, they are a lot easier to abide by – both for kids and adults, and then the behavior becomes routine.

Without having a routine in place, things can become a little hectic! At the beginning of the school year, our before and after school students help our staff to come up with a list of responsibilities and expectations for everyone at the program. This may include things like keeping student belongings neatly in a specified area (to ease parent pickup when little Johnny’s backpack would otherwise now be lost under a dog pile of bags and jackets) or setting up daily routines so all children know that upon arrival, you drop off your belongings, wash up for a snack, attend Homework Club, and then engage in the enriching activities and outdoor play that our staff has organized based on the children’s interests.

Routines can be especially helpful at home for things like:


fruits and cream in clear glass cup

The Morning Shuffle.

You know the morning shuffle. The family is roaming around the house trying to figure out what to wear, where’s my stuff, the microwave is beeping after reheating your coffee three times before 7am, what’s for breakfast, what’s for lunch…

Who knew that one of the hardest parts of ‘adulting’ would be figuring out every meal for every member of your family for the rest of your LIFE – I’m being dramatic {a little} but stay with me. 

Try preparing breakfast the night before, or even farther in advance! Some ideas could include batch-cooking and freezing breakfast sandwiches for grab-and-go meals, overnight oats in the fridge the night before, or even pulling a couple of cereal boxes out on the counter! That’s one less decision to make during your busy mornings. Think about what else you can prepare in advance to make your daily life easier.


sliced fruits

Making lunches.

Preparing for lunches ahead of time can save you a lot of time and energy! This doesn’t mean you have to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Sunday that is to be eaten on Thursday. It means when you get home from the bulk grocery store with a 10-pound bag of carrots, take your zipper baggies or reusable snack containers and pre-pack them. The same can be done with the rest of your snacks and sides, so when it comes time to make lunch, you (or even better, your child!!) can grab a few things to fill up their lunch box, and be on their way. 


Photo of Girl Hugging Her Mom While Doing Yoga Pose

Returning home and unwinding after a long day.

This is a biggie. You just worked a long day, your child also had a long day, and now it’s time for dinner, homework, bath, and bed. A parent’s work may never be done, but it can be made easier! Upon returning home, take a few minutes to just sit and unwind. Do some family yoga, stretching, or even just some deep breathing, and allow yourself and your child to be present and relax together, back at home in their safe place with you. Setting up a routine of intentionally taking a few minutes for everyone to chill out and get comfortable can be just the reset you need to take on the rest of the evening’s tasks in stride. This practice can go a long way for the whole family and can also be applied in multiple areas of your life, such as arriving at work after a stressful commute or gearing up for that sales meeting with your boss. De-stress and reset.

The beautiful thing about routines is that they will look very different from one family or situation to the next. One person may have all of the above-mentioned struggles and need help with prioritizing and finding shortcuts. Another person may not struggle with any of these issues, but there may be other areas in life that could benefit from routines. They are not one size fits all, but routines can change almost anyone’s life in a variety of ways if just given the chance.


3. Set boundaries to maintain balance

Boundaries are important in order to maintain balance and homeostasis within your family and your life. School is not a competition, so doing things like over-packing the child’s schedule with extra-curricular activities or hyper-focusing on test scores can add to their baseline stress level and cause resentment and discontentment in the family, as well as in other areas of their life. Of course, the boundaries you choose to set will be different for each child so it is up to you as the parent/guardian to decide where those boundaries may be needed and help to set your child up for success.


At The Work-Family Connection, we believe in positive attitudes that lead to warmth and connection. We work with our students to create flexible routines, expectations, and healthy boundaries. We set them up for success!