The hardest part of the summer ending is pretending you’re not happy about it as a parent.
Hiding your joy from kids who get mad at even seeing the back to school products in Target is difficult. Does that mean you haven’t enjoyed the extra time with your kids these last few months? Of course not. It just means you’re excited for the school year to get started again.
The transition from summer to school can be a difficult one. There’s a lot to navigate, but here are three simple ways you can start the school year off right:
1. Start getting up earlier.
I have teenagers. Right now, they tend to sleep until 9:00 AM each morning during the summer. When school starts though, they have to get up at 6:00 AM. That’s a huge difference. As a parent, I need to help them prepare for that steep learning curve. So, for the last week of summer, they get up at 7:30 AM. I didn’t make them get up at 6:00 AM, I’m not a monster, but I did give them an opportunity to ease back into the early rise. Reduce their stress by giving them a few mornings to practice.
2. Don’t give in to the end of summer blues.
You set the pace with your kids. You set the vibe. You are the emotional barometer in a lot of ways. It’s common for parents to dramatize the end of summer, exaggerating how horrible it is to go back to school. That’s stupid. If you tell your kids that summer is ending and so is all happiness and sunshine and swimming pools and fun, don’t expect them to have a great start. Instead, remind them of how much fun they’ll have seeing their friends. Help them recognize all the great things that a school day offers. Don’t oversell the end of summer.
3. Have a full summer.
The problem with summer is that it ends at most stores in June. That’s when they start selling school supplies. It’s the same problem with Christmas. I don’t want to see a single wreath in a store until mid-November. The number of stores that have Christmas products out in October is crazy. Don’t end your summer too early. Enjoy it to the very end. Go on a last-minute blueberry picking trip days before school starts. Have a water balloon fight the week of. Stay at the neighborhood pool until they kick you out. Wring every last drop from your summer instead of giving up early.
The summer is a magically fun time and although your kids might not want it to end, it’s going to. Make the transition as painless as possible by being deliberate about it.
Start getting up earlier.
Don’t give into the end of summer blues.
Have a full summer.