Back-to-school: 6 helpful tips for parents
Sorry to put it out there so bluntly, but back-to-school season is here. This–wonderful–period of time is synonymous with stress, preparation, excitement, planning and, did I mention stress? To make your life easier (and stress-free), here’s a list of tips that should help you get out of it in one piece.
1. Ease into the whole school routine, slowly but surely.
Now, we know that your children had it pretty easy during the summer in terms of wake-time, meal time and bedtime. Unfortunately for them, it’s time for that to change. Setting specific and consistent times will help your kids transition into the school routine better. You can start doing this right now, the more time they have to adjust, the better.
2. The notorious school supplies shopping.
The school supplies shopping trip can get your children excited about school. Prepare a shopping list at home with them, all while inventorying last year’s supplies to avoid over-buying. Having the right tools (munitions) will help them feel invincible at school. You can let them pick what they like (colors, styles) to make them look forward to using them during the school year. If your child is young, you can explain to him what the supplies are for, and let them experiment with them at home.
School supplies and back-to-school deals are already available at stores across Qatar. Do it early to avoid the rush!
3. Everybody loves food. Except vegetables. Kids hate vegetables.
Starting off the day with a nourishing breakfast will help your children have more energy and be more focused during the day. When you plan ahead, make sure that they have enough time to eat in the morning. You can also implement this in the summer-to-school transition routine.
Try to be creative with food (hide the veggies!). To avoid putting something together every day, you can prepare a week’s worth of meals on the weekend and freeze them. Try to incorporate as many nutriments as possible. It’s time for you to scout for lunch ideas on Pinterest, Instagram and Buzzfeed.
Also, make sure to buy a reusable water bottle to increase water consumption (and encourage a sustainable and green lifestyle).
4. Homework, your child’s best friend.
Agree with your children on a specific time to do homework. The earlier after school time, the better. They will lose their energy and motivation as the day goes by, which will make homework a heavier burden for them. You can set up a specific study area for your children to work –with motivation– in. Try to involve them as much as you can in the decision-making process, they will feel more responsible and autonomous.
5. Extracurricular activities, or what will keep your child occupied for an extra hour.
Try to look for extracurricular activities, workshops, programs, that will keep your children active and motivated. Try to broaden their leisure activities to help them discover their interests. The Qatar National Library (QNL) offers many various workshops, ranging from an introduction to Virtual Reality to DIY arts and crafts. The Qatar Museums offer activities for children as well.
For more QNL events and workshops, check out their website.
For more information on Qatar Museums activities, check out their family and schools program calendar.
For more activities for children, check out this article by DohaFamily.
6. Talk to your kids, they do listen sometimes.
Talk to your kids and tell them that everything is going to be alright. Tell them that you followed this guide by the letter. Your attitude will affect your child, so be enthusiastic reassuring and motivating. Tackle topics such as seeing old friends/making new friends, being able to do homework and that nothing is too hard, or that school is actually fun!
Oh and, don’t forget the crazy Qatar traffic!
Do you have more back-to-school tips? Help your fellow-parents out and let us know in the comments.
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Check their school bags after they have gone to bed to make sure all items needed are present. Often, children leave items behind in school and some items such as iPads are costly. Also, make a routine to allow them to get a proper amount of sound sleep as it keeps them fresh the whole day.