The First thing that I see a lot of parents don’t do during the first week of school, (and I would encourage you to do it), is to give yourself a little slack. I know you’re trying to get the best first day picture. If you didn’t take the first day picture, there are hundreds of other parents in the community who didn’t either. You’re not a bad parent, you just had a lot going on. You know, there’s an expectation that we all try to live up to on that first day or that first week of school, and I think a lot of times we just set ourselves up for failure.
We set ourselves up for failure because we simply are trying to expect too much of ourselves, like getting up on a different schedule, making sure the lunch bags are packed properly, making sure that the teacher has all that information that she or he needs to know about your child. Making sure your kid actually gets on the bus and goes where they’re supposed to go. You have to admit, those are a lot of things going on.
The Second thing that’s huge, and this is probably one of the most important things you can do to set your child up for success. It doesn’t matter their age, they’re in school. Sometimes we can go through the motions of getting back into school and we think, “Ah, it’s just going back to school. We’ve done it every year.” A lot of times we get really geared up when the kids go to Pre-K, Kindergarten or First Grade, and then after that it’s like, this downhill kind of attitude towards going back to school. It is a big deal and it is a big deal for your kid. Always be encouraging and especially the first week.
If, for whatever reason, your child messes up and doesn’t do what they should in school that first week, give them more grace than you would typically. Instead of having that reaction right away that, “Oh, you messed it up this week. This is the week you need to have a good impression.” Right? Well, I want you to take a step back and remember that a lot of new things are happening for your child. It would almost be the same thing as if you changed jobs every single year. You had a new boss, you had new things that you had to learn, new duties, new tasks, new responsibilities. I think as parents, a lot of times we don’t think about it that way.
The Third most important thing that most parents don’t do during the first week of school, and they don’t do it because it’s a really easy excuse. There’s a lot of other things that are going on and they’re trying to stick, you know, get the kids in the routine and they’re trying to move from here to there, and they don’t leave enough time for themselves to eat right during the week. Sales at McDonald’s and Burger King and every other fast food restaurants go up exponentially during this first week of school. Why? Because it’s convenient, but just because something is convenient doesn’t mean that it makes it healthy.
Ladies and Gentlemen, what your children eat deeply affects their mood. If you’re looking for your child not to have sugar crashes, don’t give it to them. What kind of sugar crash am I talking about? A large sweet tea or coke right after. It doesn’t just have to be food. You might go, “Well I’m going to reward them for a great day.” That’s awesome, reward them for a great day, but the problem is that we’re inducing a sugar crash on kids that probably don’t need that and it will affect their overall mood later on.
I would encourage you guys to write out a list of things that you need to take care of for that week and when it comes down to it, don’t worry about the fact that you may not have everything absolutely together. The worst possible thing that could happen is that you forgot something and you have to do it the next day. Also, as you are definitely going down the road of trying to make sure that you do the things that you need to do during the first week of school, that you understand that what you eat as a parent and what your child eats as well, is super important.