Back To School Made Easier In 6 Simple Steps - Sophie Uliano

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Back To School Made Easier In 6 Simple Steps

Back To School Made Easier In 6 Simple Steps

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As a child, I always dreaded going back to school. And when my daughter started grade school, I felt the same dread welling up inside of me. And I realized that a huge part of my dread was linked to the time change. Gone were the lazy mornings, and summery late nights. Hello, routine…and an early routine at that. And one of the things that we found hardest as a family, was getting everyone to bed earlier. Thankfully, I learned a few easy strategies, which made back-to-school easier!

Meal Prep: One hour of meal prep on the weekend takes the dread out of food for the week. Here’s what I recommend: Create a family menu for the week ahead. Run it by your family (I gave them 2 choices per meal tops). This prevented any “But Mommy…I hate lasagna!” situations. We all got on the same page, and my menu was printed out and stuck on the fridge for all to see. Once I had my menu in place, I got all my shopping done on the weekend. And I prepped as much as possible ahead of time. Cooking and freezing basics such as rice and pasta can be a huge time-saver. Who feels like boiling rice after a long day at work?? Even if you only meal prep lunches (because who doesn’t love an easily packed lunch in the morning), you’ll thank yourself later. 

Sit-Down Family Dinner: Try to weave a sit-down family meal into your week as much as you can. Even if the whole family can’t attend, it will establish a beautiful routine for your kids to expect a sit-down meal with at least one adult at the same time every evening. I always made a family rule that phones were not allowed at the table. This was the best rule I ever made because it’s stuck with my daughter over the years. It taught her to connect with us at meals, to talk about our day, or current events (when she got older). And now that she’s eighteen, she won’t allow her boyfriend to EVER bring his phone out at the table. She says it’s “disrespectful.” Gotta love her!

Early To Bed: I have been religious about this since my daughter started school. And now that she’s going to college, she’s developed a good habit for life. If she has a big workload on, she’s able to discipline herself to be in bed (phone off) by 10:30pm. I found melatonin to be a big help during the back-to-school transition. I’ve always used Natrol Melatonin, and now they’ve just come out with a Kid’s Melatonin (both fast dissolve tablets and gummies) which is recommended for kids ages four and up. It effectively promotes restful sleep and is 100% drug-free, and non-habit forming. The 1mg strength is perfect for small kids. Natrol’s Kids Melatonin is the perfect antidote to the occasional sleeplessness that comes with a sudden time shift, or shift in routine. Melatonin can help your child to fall asleep, and stay asleep longer.

Early To Bed: I have been religious about this since my daughter started school. And now that she’s going to college, she’s developed a good habit for life. If she has a big workload on, she’s able to discipline herself to be in bed (phone off) by 10:30pm. I found melatonin to be a big help during the back-to-school transition. I’ve always used Natrol Melatonin, and now they’ve just come out with a Kid’s Melatonin (both fast dissolve tablets and gummies) which is recommended for kids ages four and up. It effectively promotes restful sleep and is 100% drug-free, and non-habit forming. The 1mg strength is perfect for small kids. Natrol’s Kids Melatonin is the perfect antidote to the occasional sleeplessness that comes with a sudden time shift, or shift in routine. Melatonin can help your child to fall asleep, and stay asleep longer.

Exciting New Routine: Create excitement around this new back-to-school routine, which is going to make your child feel so good. It’s important to explain that you’re both going to create a special routine for their new “big girl/boy” grade. Invite them to participate in creating this routine so your child doesn’t feel controlled by you. Give your child as many options as possible – even if it’s “Do you want to get into bed at 7:30 or 7:45?” You know they’ll pick the latter, but at least they have a choice. Part of the routine could be having them pick out their clothes for the next morning, and choose what to wear, and where to set everything out.

Limit Screen Time: This may be obvious, but as busy parents, we can let this slip. Once you give in to “one more show,” or “sure, you can use mommy’s phone for another 10 minutes,” it’s a slippery slope. I recommend helping your child by establishing a boundary or rule, that at least one hour before bed, every screen is switched off and removed from the bedroom (or area where he or she winds down). If older siblings are using their devices, let them in on the plan, and ask them to kindly respect this wind-down time. 

Remove all blue LED lights from your child’s bedroom. This can include any electrical device, including a digital alarm clock, air filter, humidifier, etc. If you must have a machine in their bedroom with a light, at least blackout the light with a black garment (a black t-shirt will do.


This post is sponsored by NATROL, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.