UNITED STATES—Gosh, I feel like the summer of 2023 moved at a feverish pitch. It felt like June just a few weeks ago, but now, we’re wrapping up the third week of August and the kids will soon be headed back to school at the end of the month in most parts of the country. In some states, kids have already returned to school. For those who have not, it is time for that routine that is the norm for many parents and kids to come into the mix.

School supplies, tech and gadgets, snacks and lunches, all those items the kids need to be prepared for that first day of school, you might want to start buying NOW if you haven’t already started to purchase them. Those days of being able to wait till the last minute and still get all that you need has vastly changed. Why? The retailers have stocked the stores months before school has started to ensure parents have access to those items when the budget permits.

The biggest struggle so many kids have is getting back to that routine, where they are NOT allowed to stay up all night and they have to get up at a designated time each and every morning to prepare for classes. I guess as a kid I was just different. I never stayed up till 2, 3 or 4 in the morning. I was always an early riser, hell if anything I was the person getting my siblings up so we could get ready for school. I was preparing the lunches. I guess I was more mature as a kid than most of my counterparts.

With that said, the sleep routine is going to be a challenge for many parents, because most kids will fight it and when you have technology in the mix (cellphones and tablets) that tech just keeps kids up as they want to play game or scour social media looking for absolutely nothing. The parents have to be the bad guys and take those devices away. It is that simple, don’t bicker with the kids, when it is time for school, the focus has to be school. The kids, tweens, teens, might be mad, but oh well.

Besides sleep and school supplies, parents have to prepare for commute to and from school. Whether it involves the kids are out the door and at the bus stop in time for pickup or if you’re dropping them off and picking them up, you have to carve out time for that. That means one of the parents, if it’s a two parent house has to drop off the kid(s), while the other picks them up. It is a constant fluctuation of things. Tack on the extracurricular activities that unfold after school ends for the day. This means you’re schedule is on the go, go, go, constantly which can lead to burnout for the parents.

I hate to say it, but as a parent you have to plan, you have to ensure your schedule is tight and prepared for anything, because you never when something is going to come up. The great thing about kids being back in school is it frees up about 8 hours a day for the parent(s) to work, take care of errands or any other sort of business they need to complete. Many parents I know love this time of year, because that word ‘routine’ comes back into the mix and makes it so much easier to get things done without all the chaos that comes with kids being home 24/7.

I think one caveat about going back to school is the aspect of homework. All kids are different. There are those who try to do homework in school, those who do it as soon as they get home, those who wait until they have a snack, and those who wait until hours after school has ended to tackle homework. Homework is a must and kids, tweens, teens and even the college students have to get into the mode of doing homework on a regular basis. It is an opportunity to refresh the brain with the material that you studied during the day. In essence, you’re practicing what you’re learning and that is the best way to master the material.

Simply put, with summer coming to an end, the school is the kickoff to routine being back into effect. It is not just good for the parents, but it is also good for the kids as well.

Written By Zoe Mitchell