Back to School Tips to Help Calm Your Kids and Protect Your Marriage

Back to School Tips

It’s that time of year again. The kids are going back to school, sort of. It’s not likely many of you know how this school year is going to play out yet, but most of you know it’s going to be very different from other years. Regardless of what combination of distance, in person and remote learning schedule you have planned, there are likely to be issues that come up. 

We weren’t ready for the stress of covid and school at the beginning of this year, but we can certainly be better prepared this fall.  Here are a few back to school tips to help calm your kids and protect your marriage. 

Back to School Tip #1: Have a Plan. 

The information you have may not be complete and it may change again but do yourself a favor and make a plan. If your child is going to school, who is handling drop off and who is handling pick up? If your child is remote learning, who is checking on work progress, who is handling math classes? Have all these discussions now and make a plan. It can help to even print it out and put it on the fridge so everyone knows what to expect. 

There is enough chaos happening around you right now, at least resolve to take some of the chaos of day to day life by having a solid plan. No matter how much we may want them, these things don’t work themselves out. (Speaking from experience) 

Back to School Tip #2: Have a Back Up Plan. (or 3) 

That plan you just made will only work in the one scenario out of a hundred that you made the plan for. Assess your situation. Your school situation, your work situation, your partner’s work situation and make a back up plan. 

Have a plan in place for quick changes? Especially if you’re sending your kids to school but also for remote learning and just simply daily responsibilities. What if you cannot pick up the kids, who is going to? What if someone gets sick? Who is quarantining and where? Are there safe child care options in place when normal ones fall through? 

It is always better to have plans and never need them than to need plans and not have them. Work out a few back-up plans for common scenarios you might anticipate. 

Back to School Tip #3: Communicate 

This one should come as no surprise to you. Communication’s importance in all interpersonal relationships cannot be overstated; and in times of chaos that is even more true. 

Communicate with your kids about the dangers of back to school, explain how this year is going to be different, explain to them that they might have classmates that fall ill. These are hard conversations to have but they are necessary for preparing children for the world they are re-entering. 

The communication shouldn’t stop there though, encourage communication on a daily basis. Talk to your kids and your partner about how you are coping, even sharing when you are having a bad day and help others to better understand you and your unique experience. It also encourages them to share their thoughts and feelings with you. 

Everyone in your household will have hard days, being able to talk about that openly and them being able to see your being honest and open can only strengthen your bonds. 

Back to School Tip #4: Be Kind to One Another 

We discussed in a previous blog how more women found themselves handling the majority of household labor during these times. That is an unkind fact. Being kind to one another means understanding the experiences of one another and working to improve them. Not just noticing when your partner cuts their hair. 

Pay attention to each other. If you notice that your child is struggling to keep up in class, offer to help. If you notice your wife is cooking all the meals for the family, step in. If someone is having a hard time and needs to be alone, give them grace. We are all dealing with a lot, and even if we’re all in the same house every hour of the same day we are not experiencing the same reality. 

Remember that you love each other above all else, if this school year happens to be a mess, so be it. Don’t let your family relationships become a mess as well.

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