It seems like only yesterday children were leaving their schools for the last time off to enjoy everything that summer has to offer. Now, after a short 11 weeks they are all dressed in their new clothes, sporting their new haircuts, and posing for the dreaded 1st-day pictures for Mom’s Facebook friends. Yes, back to school time is upon us.
Make no mistake the next several weeks are full of uncertainty for everyone: students, teachers, parents, coaches, etc. All of us must adjust to a new routine, new people, and new expectations. This is a difficult process and one that most parents are trying desperately to make simpler. Unfortunately most parents do this in the most difficult way possible.
See if this sounds familiar.
Mom – The new school year is starting. We need to get into a routine.
Dad – I thought we had a routine.
Mom – No. We have to make sure Johnny gets in bed at a decent hour or else he’ll be grumpy when we wake him in the morning.
Dad – Ok.
Mom – Then we have to get used to getting him up and ready. Of course he needs to eat breakfast. Then we have to get him to school, preferably 20 minutes early or else I’ll get stuck in the drop-off line forever.
Dad – Ok.
Mom – Then I only have a couple hours before I have to go back to pick him up. The parent pick-up line starts backing up at 12:30, and I can’t get stuck in the back.
Dad – MmmHmm.
Mom – Then there is a snack and homework to do before dinner.
Dad – Yep.
Mom – I just don’t think I’ll be able to get him to martial arts class. Plus, going to karate will probably be super stressful for Johnny. I mean he has a lot of new stuff to get used to. I think we should take a break for a while and start back up once he gets into a school routine.
Dad – Whatever you think is best.
Seems rational right. I mean we all have such a difficult adjustment period that it is only logical that removing a variable should make things easier. Right?
The only problem is that our psyche and routines don’t follow logic. I’ve found it is much more like removing a band-aid. Sure you can inch it off slowly and methodically in an attempt to avoid the pain….or, you can just give it a yank and be done with it.
I encourage everyone no matter what your extracurricular activities are to not take a break as your transition into the new school year. Once you do get into a routine you will either not continue your previously enjoyed activity or you will have yet another transitional period to go through once you decide to return to afterschool activities.
Don’t do that to yourself. Get back into a bedtime routine. Get back into a school routine. Get back into your karate routine. Do it all at once and get it over with. You’ll be glad you did by next month.