It seems that, at this time of year, everyone is a bit more stressed – summer is almost over, kids and families need to get back into a school schedule, and traffic gets even worse! For busy professionals with kids, here are a few tips to help ease the stress of the back to school season.
Establish structure where possible. One idea is to set up a ‘homework’ area in the house. Make it comfortable and stock it with supplies (& snacks). Agree on timing for when homework will be done – before or after dinner? Also consider making it a “phone-free zone”.
Busy legal professionals run their lives by their calendar but does yours include family commitments as well? Get a list of important dates from the school – parent/teacher interviews, report card release dates, professional development days when there is no school for students, etc. Also, add in your child’s sports’ schedule – practices and games. If this information is in your calendar, you will be better able to schedule your time to accommodate important dates ahead of time and avoid last minute stress. You can also take scheduling one step further by setting up a family shared calendar (i.e. Google calendar) so everyone is on the same page and updates can be shared across the entire family.
Sharing of responsibilities that is! Set up a weekly schedule of chores and make sure everyone has something to do – even the parents! Put making lunches on the weekly rotation of chores and make sure lunches are made the night before so that everyone can ‘grab and run’ in the morning.
In the end, setting expectations, maintaining routines and communicating are valuable tools in the fight against stress!