06 Jan 2016

Time to get everyone organised for School

It’s that time of year again and as parents know only too well kids are not the only ones who need to be organised for school. And once the kids are back at school, you will once more have to fit your own routine into the hours between 9 and 3.

Telling your kids to go “Clean your room” is not going to be enough to get the family and house ready for the new school year, mainly because in January, school aged kids are not inclined to clean up their Summer clutter because, let’s not kid ourselves, no child wants to clean their room during their Summer holidays.

Doing things with your child, making it some valuable Mummy/Daddy time, will give you less stress when you are breathing down the barrel of a new school year.

Let’s start with clothes, because kids grow like weeds over the Summer, and once you have dug out all of those ‘last year’s fashions’ out from under the bed, and the bottom of the wardrobe because “it doesn’t fit me anyway”, you will have taken a big step towards organising their wardrobe for the new year.

Consider all those toys they aren’t using anymore. Most likely because of all the new ones they got for Christmas. Don’t waste energy arguing and haggling. If it has been pushed aside, or under the bed, then it is time to face facts and agree that they are just ‘not very interested’ anymore. Box them up, and store them away for younger siblings or simply donate them to a children’s charity. That way everyone feels better.

“Have you done your homework?” Right from the first day of school, this becomes our mantra. However, with a little effort, it is really easy to help your child get enthusiastic about learning. Provide them with a designated study area that is clear of debris and where it is easy to think. When organising their room, try to find a little extra space for a larger desk than last year. Every year both your child and their books get bigger. So it is important to throw out the desk you bought them for their 7th birthday, remove that old dolls house, kick out the soft toys, and throw out that enormous old boom box they never use anymore. Then go buy a nice contemporary desk to become the featured item in the room. Clearing the decks is a great way to refresh the mind and soothe the soul. Doing it in partnership with your child will also give you an excellent opportunity to remember and rekindle the sweetness in your relationship.

Now that you have organised them, take some time to prepare yourself.

A schedule is your friend when the school year begins. You will have a lot of new tasks, and a new family itinerary to learn. Draw up a schedule for the entire family, so that everyone can see what everyone else should be doing at every hour of the day. It is important that you add yourself to this schedule so that the children can see that you are outlaying time for the tasks you need to do to make their own itineraries possible.

For instance, make sure they can clearly see that certain days are for ironing and others for washing. That way they can relate the need for them to take their dirty clothes to the laundry the day before washing day, and to allocate time on ironing day to put their clothes away. Allocate yourself some time to do tasks like making lunches, buying groceries, and cooking dinner. And clearly mark in travel time to get your kids to all their sports, arts and school activities.

If you work, schedule in time for you to review your emails and write reports. Put in your Yoga class and gardening time. If you do tuckshop or are a lollypop lady, mark this in too. You could even schedule in some Sunday afternoon reading if you want to. Too often we parents try to fit what we want to do in and around and in between the activities of our children.

You only get one life. So it is important that you put everything that makes up you and your life into that family schedule. If it is on the family schedule alongside all the things that are important to them, then they will learn to be more respectful of your life, your likes and your time.

Also, if it is on the family schedule then it means that it has to happen at that time. Be ruthless. Once you allocate the time on the schedule, do not let anything take its place. Once you move something, it will be like a house of cards, and you will lose all control. If you stay true to your schedule, then in the long run, there will be less arguments and crying when say you cannot do something. It will also stop you from trying to be a Super Mum and promising to do too much.

“Look, see? I can’t take you to Jane’s house because it is time for my Yoga class. You will have to go later, or on another day”

Eventually, the kids will refer to the schedule before even asking you to do something for them. And that is when you really begin to appreciate the bountiful pleasures of organisation.

And remember, if you need a little extra help to get the house and family ready for the start of school, call an Angel to help on 0481 259 560.