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Farewell to Summer

There’s something quite odd about the idea of saying goodbye to summer when it is 105 degrees outside.  We are so painfully far away from fall the idea of back-to-school “fall” shopping for cute little sweaters and corduroy seems completely nuts.

But alas, here we are….sliding full-speed into the exciting and often frantic back-to-school bonanza.

Parents fall all over the map with feelings about their kids going to school each fall.  Some parents dread the faster pace, the many school functions, the early alarm clock, being away from their little people for so long each day.  Others kiss the school sidewalk that first day, thanking all that’s holy for their kids to be back in the loving arms of teachers that SURELY have more patience than they do right now.  Most parents have a bit of both.

The transition from summer-pace to school-pace can create some anxiety for families.  Our level of tension tends to be directly proportionate to how far we’ve let our family schedules and routines slide over the summer months.

For those families whose kids have developed sleep patterns that resemble a teenager, and those who find themselves saying, “he’s such a night owl!” as the nights get longer and longer….don’t panic!  There’s time to get it shifted back before that early wake-up call the first day of school.

The trick is, start NOW!  It is harder for kids to shift bedtime and wake time than it is for you and I.  They need time to adjust…more time than you probably realize.  Most kids need at least two weeks to adjust to a new bedtime/waking time schedule.

Wean them back slowly, bit-by-bit, to an earlier bedtime.  And for those of you who have gloriously late sleepers, (insert deep breath here) you’ll need to wake them up earlier in the morning as well.  If they aren’t tired, they won’t be able to fall asleep at their slightly earlier bedtime that evening.  Give them the tools they need to sleep by making sure they’ve been awake long enough and active during the day.

If you, like many parents, are in a stage now where your dreaded bedtime routine feels like torture, and your kids falling asleep at a “reasonable” hour seems utterly impossible without tears and tantrums, consider the option of doing some work with me.  We can look at your family’s unique needs and work on creating a plan that supports your kids to sleep so that you can have some down time and get your own very necessary sleep…..all done with love, connection, and respect for your children’s needs.

A rested child is much more likely to be a happy, successful student.  And rested parents are much better prepared to respond to their children’s needs during this busy time.  So commit to doing the hard work of creating a family routine that supports reasonable bedtimes.

So, parents….buckle-up.  Time to launch into a new school year, full of new adventures and new challenges.  I can’t wait to see what we all learn this year from our incredible little students we’re gifting to these lucky schools.  Ready, set, GO!