It back to school time, and while that means, news books, new clothes, new teachers, for many parents it can also mean new ways to stress out and eventually get burnt out. Take for instance Jen Hatmaker, she dubbed herself, “the worst end of the school year mom,” limping towards the finish line called summertime. Hatmaker's story went viral striking a chord with parents around the country, also burnt out from the overabundance of homework and the ever growing demands of school. The mother of five appeared on the Today Show talking about parent fatigue, saying by April she had called it quits.
The start of the new school year is often a rebirth, but that rejuvenation can be short lived, that is, unless parents take the proper precautions as they head into the new year, “Stick to a self- care routine-no matter what, do not waiver and make a pact with your support system,”states Dr. Kate Roberts. “At the first signs of veering off, get back on track, even if the kids have to miss out on something, in the end, parents that take care of themselves are more present when their kids truly need them.”
For more than twenty five years Dr. Kate Roberts has helped couples and parents navigate through the ever evolving world of relationships. “In this fast paced society parents need, in the moment strategies they can rely on,” says Dr. Kate Roberts,“ones where they can quickly resolve family issues without conflict and confidence. “
As a licensed psychologist, family therapist and couples counselor, and wife and mother of two, Dr. Kate Roberts and offers these back to school tips:
Insist on a school syllabus in advance to avoid being blindsided
Know what they are agreeing to with more than one sport or activity
Have a conversation with the kid. Even at age seven kids can understand the concept of “we can’t do it all.” Show them a calendar with concrete days and times and ask how they expect to be two or three places at once while having homework, projects, and tests all done to their satisfaction.
Designate a weekly time- one hour on a Friday afternoon – to review everything that is needed for the upcoming two weeks allowing for planning and preventing being caught off guard. It’s the racing out to Wal-Mart at 9 at night a few times before March rolls around that kills a parent before the final sprint.
Don’t volunteer or take on too much-overloading because it looks good, it helps no one and the parents and the kids bare the brunt of it.
Parents can’t do everything, the sooner they accept their limits, and the happier everyone will be.
Spend quality time with the kids; kids are forgiving when they occasionally miss an activity as long as they have time with their parents!