Creating a Back-to-School Routine

Posted by on Aug 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Creating a Back-to-School Routine

Creating a Back-to-School Routine

The best part of summer is the break from our usual responsibilities and routines. Which means that the worst part of summer ending is frantically trying to get “back in the swing of things.” Reestablishing school-year schedules can be frustrating and stressful. But routines can reduce the stress that comes with transitioning back to school.

How Do Routines Help?

Routines provide structure to daily tasks and responsibilities. They help you and youth know what to expect for the day, which reduces the stress of getting ready, especially in the morning before school. Routines also help with time management and prioritization, and using a schedule will help you make time and prepare for the tasks that need to be done on a given day. For youth, routines can help with practicing autonomy, task management, and scheduling.

What Makes a Routine Successful?

Creating and maintaining a routine is easier said than done. Routines that “stick” are clear, consistent, and meet everyone’s needs. Clarity helps youth (and you) understand their responsibilities and manage their time. Without consistency, routines don’t work. Keep your schedule as consistent as possible – including bed and wake-up times. If there is a day with something different happening, plan for it and communicate the new schedule to everyone in the family. This may mean occasionally reassessing if your routine still meets everyone’s needs. Successful routines feel doable for everyone, and include time for breaks and interruptions.

How to Create a New Routine

To create a new routine, start by thinking of your time frame. What time do you want you or your youth to be in bed? When do you have to wake up to get ready for work and school? Consider your daily task list. What are the things that you and your youth need to do on a daily basis? List those tasks and assess if they’re all doable in your time frame. If possible, involve everyone in this process. When youth help create routines it helps them feel heard, which makes them likelier to stick with it. Because transitions are challenging, it’s important to start early. Create and try your routine a week or two before youth go back to school. Everyone will have a chance to get used to it and adjustments can be made to anything that doesn’t work.

Structure Makes it Easier

Routines make transitions easier, especially in times where anxiety is high. Many things are uncertain for the 2020-2021 school year and having a consistent routine gives you some structure.