Celebrate summer as you prepare for start of school

Maggie Macaulay

Are your thoughts turning to school supplies, backpacks, homework and the early morning schedule that comes with the start of school?

As you prepare for your kids to go back to school, you can continue to celebrate the joys of summer. Continuing to celebrate — remaining in a summer state of mind — can make preparing much more fun. That, in turn, will reduce the level of stress your kids experience.

While doing the back-to-school shopping, include a trip to the park, an indulgence of ice cream or lunch at your family’s favorite restaurant. Having something fun to look forward to will keep the lightness of summer going. An early start to preparations and a smooth, steady pace coupled with something fun is the recipe for an easier transition.

It’s a wonderful time for hosting a gathering — big or small — so that your children can reconnect with their friends prior to the first day of school. This is especially important for creating a smooth back-to-school shift for kids who have challenges transitioning or who experience anxiety about returning to school. Having already touched base with friends will add some comforting familiarity to that first day back. Make the gathering easy on yourself — it is still summer, after all — by having your kids do most of the inviting, planning, preparing and cleaning up. Having age-appropriate responsibility is empowering.

Tune into what everyone would like to do to make their summer complete. Is there something local that your children would like to do each week before returning to school? Is there somewhere that you have been wanting to go as a family that will work on a remaining weekend? Propose the question to your family, asking, “What is one thing that would make your summer fulfilling?”

Lastly, celebrate what you have already done over the summer. Recount your favorite adventures over the dinner table, at bedtime or while driving in the car. Relive the fun through your photographs. Relish a trip by creating a scrapbook together. There is fun in anticipation, fun in doing and fun in remembering.

Maggie Macaulay is the owner of Whole Hearted Parenting, offering coaching, courses and workshops. Contact her at 954-483-8021 or Maggie@WholeHeartedParenting.com. Visit her website at www.WholeHeartedParenting.com.