There’s more to a successful fall season than just relief that they’re back at school…
When kids go back to school, the whole house feels a little different. There’s no more sleeping in and (thank goodness) not as much mess! As you manage the many tasks that are part of the beginning of the school year — such as signing your kids up for after-school care and music lessons, and the inevitable shopping for back to school clothes and supplies-I’d like to encourage you to support your kids in some of the basics of life. These basics are good for grown-ups too, so feel free to work on them yourself!
I call these important basics the ABC’s of life (and I have outlined the same ones for your kids and teens in Kidzone and Teenzone):
Help your kids to set aside regular time for homework. If you can support them with a quiet work area and a set time for studying, that’s even better. Give your kids chores to do every week and let them help with meal preparation and household tasks like gathering the recycling. Your children will learn important life skills in the process and feel the satisfaction that comes with hard work.
Eat Good Food!
A hot media topic lately is the poor eating habits of children. Make an effort to provide your family with fresh fruit and veggies at every meal and cut back on the amount of candy and soft drinks you buy. Find simple recipes for healthy foods and if you work full time, make ahead large quantities and put them in the freezer. If cooking is not your thing, try taking a class or joining a community cooking co-op.
Exercise Every Day!
Encourage your kids to get moving. Take them swimming or biking, or enroll them in a community recreation program. Encourage them to turn off the TV or computer in the evenings and go for a walk or a bike ride. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise.
Save Some Money!
Talk to your children about saving a portion of their allowance and earnings for special purchases. I like to talk with them about plans for the year ahead, and what needs to be done to achieve the goals we set. When our kids were younger, we often chose a theme for the year and then planned activities related to the theme. This gave our kids something to plan and save for.
Encourage your kids to do something they enjoy every day. Set them a good example by doing the same! Read books together, play board games, watch a favourite TV show. Invite their friends over to play, or get together with another family for potluck dinner. Introduce them to stamp collecting or knitting. Life is more than school and work!
September is a time to look at goals and evaluate what priorities you want to make. In fact, many people think of it as a new year. So take a few moments to set some goals for the future, and encourage your kids to do the same. Make the most of each day because, trust me, your kids will be grown up before you know it!