Transitions: Waking Up Edition!

As we wrap up our September Transitions series, a continued question we get deals with the unique challenges of morning routines. It’s one of the biggest pressure points for busy families, particularly when juggling multiple schools, getting to work on time, and making sure everyone has all their school materials ready, in addition to the pesky problem of getting everyone dressed and fed so they’re ready to tackle their day!

Experts tell us that these challenges impact all kids, but kids with ADHD, behavior issues and depression might have a layer of complexity to in getting their morning routine on track. No matter what kind of kids are in your family, the Child-Mind Institute recommends that paring our expectations down and making sure to focus on essential steps (vs. the “icing on the cake” steps that would be nice to achieve too) every morning. If you can really prioritize what needs to get done and let go of some of those extras, both you and the kids will feel freer. They also recommend using a visual schedule to help keep younger kids on track with those essentials. There are some great examples of how to make your own visual schedules at home — customized to suit what your family really needs to get done — here and here.

You can create incentives to keep your kids on track, if the visual schedule isn’t quite enough, perhaps by offering a special quiet experience before school (“If we get done with enough time before the bus comes, we can read a book together!”) or by earning points towards screen time or a reward.

Above all, keeping calm is one of our best tools in combatting morning drama. Stating expectations clearly, praising effort and achievements (even if they’re small, like getting socks on when asked) rather than focusing on what’s not happening, and keeping the focus on the next step ahead in the process are all key parts of that positivity. Sometimes asking how you can help move your child along in the next step will also help. Any chance to be collaborative with your kids and use helpful visual and verbal cues will make mornings less stressful.

How do you keep your family on track in the morning? What are your morning parenting hacks?

Let’s talk family routines!

As part of our transitions discussion, one key issue is establishing (or re-establishing) healthy, sane morning and evening routines. We’re all going in a million different directions, so how do we get on track and make life easier (and happier) now that school’s back in session? These links might give you some food for thought.

One of the takeaways from all the articles is that kids feel secure in routines, so developing one that is right for your family is a worthwhile endeavor.

Building an Evening Routine for kids of Different Ages

Back to School: How to Get a Good Routine Going

How to Establish a Morning Routine for Kids That Actually Works

Invite Calm By Creating a Morning Ritual

Get Your Child Out the Door In the Morning

What works for your family? Have you made any big changes coming back to school this year? We’d love to hear from you!

Transitions: Link Roundup!

Even though we haven’t yet had a full week of school, our kids have been in their new classrooms for 7 days already…how’s the transition going in your home? I’ve found myself turning to the experts more than once as we struggle to get into our routine. Here’s a roundup of links I’ve clipped for our household:

Preparing Your Child for the New School Year – AHA Parenting is a website my pediatrician recommended when my first child was born, and I’ve loved the down-to-earth advice about connecting with my kids and listening to them. While it’s a little late to “prepare” in mid-September, the advice about encouraging the bond between kids and their new teacher, as well as new kids in the classroom, is wonderful.

Back to School: Transitioning Your Family From Summer to School – PBS offers a whole host of excellent suggestions, with the suggestion to be sure to not let the change in routine and weather keep us inside and away from nature. Especially here in Redding, so many of our kids spend the summer outside in the woods being wonderfully wild and exploring. This is a great reminder to get back out there into our beautiful Redding open spaces. After reading this, I resolved to take my kids on an after-school walk with new friends at New Pond Farm! Share suggestions for making sure our busy kids are connected to Redding’s natural space in the comments!

Tips for Going Back to School – The American Autism Association offers a Back to School Guide (you can download it; it’s linked in this article) and this great summary of ideas on how to help kids with autism get back in the swing of things. The idea of creating a passport is a great tool for parents, kids and teachers!

Back to School: How to Get Your Kids Up in Time – One of the main back-to-school battles in our household revolves around bedtime. I hear the same from so many of my friends — we all enjoyed summer’s schedule flexibility where an extra game of checkers or a movie that started a bit late were no big deal. But now the kids are chafing at the earlier bedtimes and are waking up exhausted! This WebMD article gives some great (if not always easy to follow) advice for families struggling with a September full of sleepy kids! Does anyone else have any tips to share with the RES community? We’d love to hear from you here or on our Facebook page!

September Transitions: What’s In Our Parenting Backpack?

As the kids head into their first weeks of schools and we struggle to transition from laid back summer vibes to our finely tuned school routine, we spend a lot of time trying to make sure our kids’ backpacks are full of all the things they’ll need to succeed. From school supplies to share bags to snacks — which I already forgot once for my own son! — we are always keeping a mental list to be sure they’ve got everything covered.

But what are we putting in our parenting backpack? What can we do to help the transition go smoothly for ourselves, for our kids and for our wider families? How can we stay on schedule, manage those big feelings that waking up early brings on and still pack a relatively nutritious lunch without losing our cool?

This September, we hope the RES PTA can help you with your parenting backpack! We are going to talk about transitions on our more-active-than-ever blog, and we welcome your questions and feedback as we do. We will be welcoming guest bloggers and posting interesting articles to make you think about how to help our kids in this time of transition. We’ll also chat about what we can practice some self-care as parents. Be sure to also like us on Facebook so that you can join in the conversation throughout the month!

Getting Ready for Back-to-School

First Day of School: August 30, 2017

What’s new this year:

New Principal! Natalie Hammond has taken the helm at RES, and we’re thrilled to have her. The PTA has partnered with Mark Twain Library to offer the following opportunities to meet Ms. Hammond before school opens.

Coffee with the Principal

Pizza with the Principal  

Tuesday, Aug. 22  at 5:30-6:30pm

Where:  Mark Twain Library

Parents and students are ALL welcome!

(More about Ms. Hammond in Hello Redding  )

 

New PTA President! Our PTA president this year is Lisa Goldstein, parent of a 2nd grader and a 4th grader.

New PTA Exec Board Members! This year, we welcome Jessica Nevins as Secretary, Sarah O’Dell as Communications Chair, Pat Troy as Fundraising Chair, Colleen Pilato as Programs Chair, and Pamela Friedman for Membership.

 

 

Getting Ready: 

Read our 2017-18 Welcome Letter. Download HERE.

Find the 2017-18 Summer Mailing HERE.

Find the 2017-18 School Supply Lists HERE.

Stock up on Mabel’s Labels! Your purchases benefit the PTA and the school. Purchase HERE.

Looking for eco-friendly lunch options? Shop our MightyNest portal right HERE and help us meet our goal of raising $1000.

Shopping on Amazon? Your purchases can help the PTA with this LINK.

 

Last But Not Least:

We hope you’ve been saving your Box Tops! Go HERE and enter our zip code to be taken to the RES Box Tops page.

 

Redding Social Services is currently collecting school supplies for Redding families in need. This effort is spearheaded by Nicole Lilley, who has placed collection bins at Mark Twain Library and Redding Town Hall. Nicole will be making the last pick-ups on August 23rd, so all donations should be in by August 22nd. They can also be dropped off at Social Services.

Here is a list of items being collected. All items should be brand new. 

  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Binders
  • Notebooks (composition and spiral-bound)
  • Sturdy folders
  • Looseleaf paper
  • Computer paper
  • Crayons
  • Glue Sticks
  • Coloring Pencils

Additionally, Social Services is collecting gift cards for families to use for purchasing backpacks. Gift cards for Target, Wal-Mart and other locations that sell backpacks can be dropped off at Social Services at the Redding Community Center, to the attention of Angelica Fontanez or Annette D’Augelli.