Staying Sane During Back-to-School Season

Back-to-school season is a tough transition during a normal year, but the uncertainty, fear, and downright weirdness of Coronavirus makes everything even harder for parents and children. We want your entire family to not only survive this time, but thrive during it. It will take some changes in your mindset and how you go about things, now that you’re a parent, teacher, and employee all at once.

Set a schedule, routine, and boundaries

If you transitioned from working in an office to working from home, you’ve likely already seen the value of setting a schedule, routine, and boundaries for your work time and home time.

Encourage everyone in your family to get up like they were going to school or work, get showered and dressed, eat breakfast, and sit down at their desk on time. Have set school and working hours (with breaks!) that everyone is expected to follow.

This reminds your children of what it’s like to be in a classroom and keeps you focused on your work. At the end of the school and work day, have everyone clean up their desks and put away their work. This sets the end-of-day boundary so you can shift into family time.

Remind yourself that everyone is doing the best they can

We’re all feeling the stress and pressure of this strange time – even your children. They want to do their best for you and for their teachers, but a child’s best doesn’t always match an adult’s version of “their best.” Remember that we’re all approaching this with the best of intentions, and be patient and compassionate toward your children, their teachers, your partner, and, most of all, yourself.

Accept that we have to live with uncertainty

Information is changing daily when it comes to precautions, guidance, and how we’re doing daily life. The only thing that seems constant is uncertainty. Uncertainty is naturally disconcerting for us because, in our lizard brains, it means danger. The constant search for answers and plans to relieve this sense of danger is going to do the opposite. You’re going to stress yourself out more! Make a realistic plan for the beginning of the school year, but be open and flexible.

Have open family conversations

Call regular family meetings to talk about how everyone is feeling and how things are going. You’re all together in a close space, things aren’t what we’re used to, and we’re more stressed and short-tempered. Talk about why things are so different this year and why we need to be flexible and open to trying new things. Encourage your children to ask questions and be part of the discussion for how the school day and household will work.

Use your resources

Millions of parents are going through what you are. Get online and connect with others or call a friend. They may have tips for you that are working in their homes or have ideas for keeping kids engaged while learning from home. There are also plenty of homeschooling resources out there to help you if your child isn’t doing school with their former teachers and classmates or if you want to supplement what they are doing.

Healthy After School Snacks

Kids have been using their brains all day at school, which uses a lot of energy! They need to re-energize with a healthy, nutritious after school snack that they’ll enjoy.

We don’t want you to add the stress of planning snacks to your day, so we came up with a list of kid-friendly snacks that are easy for you to put together ahead of time or for them to make themselves!

  • Almonds, walnuts, or cashews (a small palm full is usually a serving)
  • Sunflower seeds and raisins
  • Celery and peanut butter (or any nut butter) 1-2 tbsp
  • Rice chips with hummus
  • Tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole
  • Vegetable sticks (celery, carrots, cucumber) and hummus or guacamole
  • Apple slices with nut butter
  • Pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
  • Greek yogurt with granola
  • Fruit smoothie with ground flax seeds and/or chia seeds
  • Fresh fruit or fruit salad
  • Make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
  • Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Banana and nut butter