• Ann Kaplan

Get More from Back To School by doing LESS

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

The back to school scramble is in full effect and if you're getting swept up in the frantic chaos. But, perhaps surprisingly, my advice is to swim upstream on this one and get more out of your remaining days of summer and your BTS experience by doing LESS. Don't waste the last days of summer and first days of school stressing and running around like a headless chicken! Use this time to plan for success, get ready for the change, and enjoy it (yes it is possible, I promise). Here are a few examples of what I mean:

1) Time Management Tip: Expect Screw-Ups! A mama without a calendar is like a boat without a rudder. We all know this, but we are also about to come face to face with the fact that a calendar is not enough. We (and our kids!) need a routine to work within. Even if you already have a routine, you'll still find yourself befuddled for a while after school starts. Why? Because transition and change is hard for all of us. Instead of believing in the impossible dream of seamless transition, set your sights on the attainable goal of some rockiness and missteps with a minimum of stress and anxiety. One way I do this is by building some extra time in my day for the first week. I say no to everything that's not essential and ride the wave of BTS a lot more smoothly. Less is definitely more when it comes to commitments during BTS! Check out this link for more support around this challenge.

2) Socialization Tip: Move from Solving to Supporting! What about the social scene? Dealing with frenemies and mean kids is tricky, not to mention the minefield of the parenting social scene (don't get me started!). But, believe it or not, less is more in this arena too. Talking to the other parents, lecturing the other child, meeting with the teacher or principal...these are usually the first things we think of doing when we know our kid is struggling with another child. While sometimes these things are necessary, remember that all of them are intervening on your child's behalf rather than enabling them to problem-solve and learn how to deal with these situations in the future. I suggest asking questions and being empathetic while your child decides what they want to do about any social challenges. It's a lot easier said than done, I know. Here's something that might help you stay on course.

3) Schoolwork Tip: Monitor instead of Meddle! It is agony watching a kid struggle in school with homework, grades or responsibility, and it is so tempting to swoop in and help them avoid the cliff they are running head-long toward. BUT, that almost always prolongs and worsens the problem. The biggest pitfalls we fall into can be summed up into just one mistake: caring more than our kids do about their success in school. Once again, less is more! Handing the problem back to the child with a clear message of belief, expectation and support is so much harder for us as parents, but so much better for our kids in the long run. Here's a resource to help you avoid the meddling trap.

Rachael G, of The Experienced Graduate, asked me to speak in her FREE online Back To School Summit about Ending Homework Battles (September 3-6) and I created an incredible training for her, complete with step-by-step tutorials, visual schematics, and real life examples. If this stuff is hitting the nail on the head for you, Check it out and get some back to school goodness in your life!

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© 2018 by Ann Kaplan