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Back To School Routines & Quality Family Time

As summer vacation in San Diego draws to a close, the transition from long, relaxing days into a hectic back-to-school schedule can be jarring for kids and parents alike. Here’s how to get back into an organized, calm routine while still enjoying quality family time:

Meal prep together

Dinner needs to happen anyway, so why not plan out a few dinners ahead of time, then gather the family together to meal prep once a week? Meal prepping is a lifesaver (and money-saver, too) during the hectic back-to-school days. Choose easy, freezable make-ahead recipes like casseroles, chilis, soups and stews, and oven-roasting sheet pan dinners. Including the kids in chopping and mixing of foods helps them feel involved and also teaches them the value of cooking fresh food from scratch.

Eat with screens off

Eating together at the table with electronic screens shut off really does matter. Even if you can only manage to make this happen once a week, schedule that day into everyone’s calendar and be sure to stick to it. Eating together without distraction gives families the essential time they need to connect and catch up with one another.

Emphasize the importance of quiet time

In our rushed modern world, it’s becoming more important for everyone to schedule in daily quiet time for personal reflection and mindfulness. To introduce this concept to younger kids, try practicing quiet time right before bed. Begin by reading a book and then ask them to close their eyes and lay quietly with you for five minutes, taking long, deep breaths. Explain how this quiet practice helps them with improving focus, concentration, and stress management — all of which they’ll need for their back-to-school routine.

Take after-dinner walks

Some businesses have implemented “walking meetings” rather than sitting around the conference table. That’s because walking boosts creativity, meaningful conversation, and collaboration. You can apply this same logic to your own family by taking an after-dinner walk together. It aids in digestion, and may also inspire conversation that you might not have otherwise. If you have more than one child, you may want to consider taking rotating walks with each child so they get important one-on-one time with you.

Download the 1 Second Everyday app

Document your family’s quality time together in a fun, unique way with the 1 Second Everyday app. All you have to do is film one second of video every day and the app stitches them together into an awesome, memorable video “time capsule.” Start your family’s “movie” on the first day of school, and conclude it on the final day of the school year. You’ll have as much fun watching it as you did filming it!

Put out a gratefulness jar

Homework, chores, after-school obligations, and deadlines can leave the whole family feeling bummed out or in a bad mood sometimes. Setting up a gratefulness jar in a prominent place in your home is a great way to combat this by highlighting life’s many positive aspects. Choose one day every week where each family member writes down on a slip of paper what he or she was grateful for that week, folds it up, and puts it in the jar. At the end of each month, or as needed, dump out the jar to remember all of the things your family is grateful for.

Get a whiteboard and use it weekly

Get a big whiteboard, a pack of colorful markers, and write out each family member’s schedule for the week, day by day. Then, add in any homework time, chores, or errands that need to be done. This will serve as a visual reminder that clearly defines everyone’s workload and holds them accountable. It also presents a great opportunity to talk about time management with kids and to help them find ways to get into their back-to-school schedule without feeling overwhelmed.
Did you know? Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles have tons of easy, helpful tips for keeping your family organized and healthy all year long

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Parenting
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