This week, we wanted to do something special to reach our parents and help with transitioning kids back to school. We spent the summer researching and looking for the best person to give parents the support they need. We found her! We would like to introduce Eirene Heidelberger an amazing and fabulous parenting coach. She is kind, compassionate, authentic, loving, fun, and full of great advice. She fits well with our mission and we are honored to have her share her advice about best practices for back to school.
Back-to-School Tips From GIT Mom!
By Eirene Heidelberger, Founder, GIT Mom
Are you ready to send your kids back to school?! I’m sure you are more than ready to have your own time and space back, but how organized are you? I want to help you make this school year the calmest and easiest one ever for your family. Here are my top GIT Mom tips on how to create stress-free mornings at your house:
GIT Tip #1 – It All Starts With You Mom
The calm before the storm starts with you mom. Your goal is to get yourself up at least 30 minutes before your children. This gives you crucial “mom time” to Get It Together! Hearing your alarm go off is really painful, but it is the easiest way to arrive “at the ball” organized and composed. Use your alone time wisely! Have your morning coffee, surf social media, get your emails done, get dressed, and plan your day.
The biggest hurdle most moms face is what to wear. I recommend you always have two pre-planned and coordinated outfits in your closet that can be thrown on quickly while you’re answering the 100th “mom” request of the morning. Keep your outfits simple – you want to feel good but not waste precious time. The reality is when you look good, you feel good, and you will be more able to handle the crazy morning routine.
GIT Tip #2 – Create A House Rules Chart
Get your morning routine right. Create a house rules chart WITH your child. As you are making the chart together, your child feels in control of his morning instead of feeling like a dictator is telling him what to do. Remember the more your child is in charge of their morning tasks, the less you will have to do.
On the house chart, each child has a section with the 3 things they are in charge of doing on their own every single morning. After the child accomplishes each task, he gets to check the completed box. This builds responsibility and self-esteem.
What I love about the house rules chart is that it takes pressure off the parent asking her kids the same questions over and over again – kids know exactly what’s required of them so the family is calm as opposed to mom yelling “where’s your homework?!”
I also recommend creating a schedule with times on it. For example:
6:45 Get dressed
7:00 Come down to breakfast
7:25 Clear the table
7:30 Brush teeth and feed fish
Start with the time you absolutely must exit your house, then add 5 minutes on to it, because nobody can achieve their goal every day. If you do end up beating it, it will give you a great boost in the morning!
I also recommend you rouse your child at least 15 minutes before you need him to function in the morning, to give him his own “Me Time.” The more awake he is in the morning the more cooperative he will be.
GIT Tip #3 Do Your Mom Homework
Now that your kids know what is expected of them every morning, it’s your turn to get yourself together every school night. I recommend you lay out the kids clothes, have a breakfast plan, have pack lunches started, school notes filled out…The more you do at night, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel when you’re half awake in the morning. Think of this as your mom homework!
GIT Tip #4 – Keep Mom Life In Control
It’s not all about the kids’ schedules. Now it’s time to take a long, hard look at YOUR schedule. Let’s start with the daytime. Take a look at your schedule and decide which days you’re going to run errands, be at home, and see your girlfriends. If you’re consistent with your days you’ll be more efficient with getting stuff done for your kids, and therefore have more time for YOU!
Now let’s move on to your after school schedule. A common theme I see is hassled moms saying “yes” to every activity & play date, and then the mom ends up worn out. Limit your child’s activities to 2 favorites per week. Also select days when you just come home straight after school. The kids need the down time and so do you!
And now on to your weekend plans. Please stop running around so much! Be more selective about kids’ activities; give them down time at home (which gives you a break!). If you find you’re exhausted and hating your family by Sunday, you’ll start the school week a total wreck.
GIT Tip #5 – Sometimes, Just Let It Go!
I want parents to know that it’s 100% okay if they’re having a bad morning and running late. This is normal, but what’s important is how we handle it. We are all racing against the clock and when kids aren’t cooperating and mom starts yelling and begging her kids to put their shoes on, they all need time out to calm down. It’s much better to be late than let your kids go off to school with the vision of a red angry-faced momma.
The GIT Mom Back-to-School Check List for RIGHT NOW:
- Start moving your kids’ bedtimes back 15 minutes every 3 days, in order to get to a bedtime that allows them at least 10 hours of sleep. They need to wake up by themselves feeling refreshed!
- Start casually talking to your kids about going back to school and what your expectations are in order to get them mentally prepared. Although all of us parents are super excited about it, our kids may not be! So talk positively about the things they love like catching up with friends.
- Create a kids organization station. This is a box or area at the back door that contains everything the family needs before going off to school. For example, backpacks, shoes, hats & mittens, snack and drinks. My favorite part about this is that everything is in one contained area, instead of the home looking like a tornado blew through it.
At GIT Mom we love helping parents get it together, and morning is the most important and chaotic time of the day because so much has to happen in a short amount of time. Every minute counts!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, tips, and suggestions for back to school success!
About GIT Mom:
Eirene Heidelberger is a nationally-renowned parenting expert and founder of GIT Mom (Get It Together, Mom!). Through GIT Mom’s 7-step method, Eirene empowers mothers and mothers-to-be by teaching a “mom-first” parenting approach. She is the only parenting coach in the country who advocates parenting techniques that puts the mother’s needs center stage
As a mom of three boys, Eirene has experienced the same overwhelm and anxiety most mothers first feel with their children. Her firsthand experiences inspired her to create GIT Mom which has been embraced by hundreds of moms around the world.
Eirene is a mom motivator, parenting champion and all-around expert. www.gitmom.com