15 back to school tips for working parents
Autumn school term brings with it a complete change in routine. Planning ahead helps make the transition back to school smoother for both children and working parents.
You want to ensure that your children’s needs are met and that they are properly being looked after in your absence. You also want to make sure you’ve covered the essentials in order to avoid emergency calls taking you away from work unnecessarily.
These back to school tips for working parents are designed to keep your children well looked after, your employer satisfied, and you sane.
1. The books
Probably the most important items, get the school books first. New or used, once you get hold of them all, everything else is negotiable. Plastic cover them as soon as possible too; ruined books take time to replace.
2. The backpack
Be kind to your child and invest in a backpack with wide padded shoulders and a padded back. Help your child organise which books to carry, on each day, to reduce unnecessary weight.
3. The transport to and from school
Will you be driving your child to / from school, will you drive share with other parents or will your child take a school bus? If you are working, where will your child go after school? Develop an impeccable plan that fulfils all responsibilities.
4. The packed lunch
Encourage healthy food habits for your child to help them learn and develop. Ask what they’d enjoy in their lunch box: flapjacks, mixed nuts and fruit are healthy energy boosters while tasting nice! Keeping your child healthy also means they never need to miss school.
5. The after-school gap
Make arrangements for the time between your child knocking off school and you knocking off work. Who will care for them? Where will they do their homework? What will they eat? When and how will they be taken home? Take care of your child’s welfare and your peace of mind.
Ease into routine
6. Transition slowly
Establish an agreeable school routine with your child and start it a week before the actual first day of school. Established routine at home will offer a sense of stability and security, helping your child better cope with other change. This will offer reassurance to you too.
7. Develop good homework and study habits
Create a workspace for homework and study and integrate time spent there as part of normal routine. This helps your child focus, revise and remember lessons and avoid pre-exam stress and a diligent and happy child makes for an unconcerned parent.
8. Establish a sleep routine
Have a bedtime and do not allow use of electronic devices, such as a TV, laptop or games, for at least an hour before, as electronic waves cause disturbance to sleep patterns. You both need a good night’s sleep to help you concentrate and stay healthy.
Manage your time effectively
9. Do your best and do not overdo it
Have retired grandad accompany your child to football; it will be a pleasure for him to spend time with his grandson. Children benefit from having different adult role models to relate to and bond with, and it frees up your time.
11. Focus on quality time
Distinguish the essential from the non-essential if you must, but never be too busy or too tired to be the best parent and best friend you can be to your child. When you work, do it wholeheartedly too.
12. Consider flexible working
Take up a flexible working position that allows you to better juggle being a parent and an employee, with much less restriction on time and place. The ideal solution for working parents, flexible working fulfill your obligations to your family and employer without fail.
Cultivate personal relationships
13. Chat with your child daily
Take an interest in your child’s life, their stories and experiences, their feelings and needs. Being their friend helps them trust you and enables you to have a greater positive influence in their life while offering you reassurance.
14. Trust your child carer
Take the time to find childcare you trust. Keep good communication with your childcare, keeping the child’s best interest the priority. With peace of mind, you can be more productive while at work.
15. Communicate with your employer
The important thing is to develop trust. Keep your employer in the loop about your situation, particularly if necessity dictates you must leave your place of work to honour being a parent.