Here we go again on the school year roller coaster

By Kay Wagner | Sep 05, 2012

“We’re totally insane over here,” one honest parent commented about school starting.

After we stopped laughing at the truth, she continued: “There’s the stress of changing schedules, new teachers and spending money on school clothes and supplies. And we’re all grieving the loss of sun and freedom.”

For more highs than lows, try one of these tried and true tips for getting both feet in before the roller coaster takes off for another busy school year.

“Have them lay out their clothes the night before, especially if they’re grumpy in the morning,” suggested a single, working mother of two.

“I made them prepare the night before so there was no chaos in the morning. While they were brushing their teeth they thought about tomorrow’s show-and-tell or what clothes they wanted to wear.

“Laying out their clothes at night is much easier than in the morning when they’re not as happy with the world.”

A successful dad suggests sitting down together on Sunday evenings with your calendar and marking all your afterschool activities. Then choose one (or more) nights for a family sit-down dinner.

Put it on the schedule. That dinner date is a time for chatting, catching up and bouncing ideas around. The kids may not think they need this time with the family, but it is very important to their healthy development.

When my kids were teens we each had one night of the week when we fixed dinner. French toast? Fine. As long as you prepare it on your night.

Often the leftovers made a perfect dinner the next night, too.

White eraser boards are a must for communicating schedule changes, messages or chore lists. Be sure to put compliments to family members on your white board!

You can help avoid chaos by putting school stuff in the same place every time. Keep an area near the door for backpacks, sports gear and coats so that what ever goes to school is easy to find.

“We had a bin where the kids threw in anything that needed to be signed. Then I could sit down and write the check or sign the permission slip later,” one organized parent remembers.

Please don’t charge up your credit cards for a new wardrobe. Before school starts buy a few basics, but don’t buy it all.

It’s hard to buy for December weather when they’re still wearing shorts. A month into school, they may want a new look. The latest styles and sales are still going in the end of September.

Every night, say, “I love you.” Create a simple bedtime ritual, a special story, song or hugs.

Stay positive by telling each other, ”The best thing that happened today was…” Make it a habit. Take a few minutes to bond with your child, be creative and relax with your most precious of gifts, your family.

Kay Wagner LMP &Yoga Instructor’s popular Guided Meditation CD, “Bridge to Serenity,” is available through iTunes, Kay’s website or by calling Kay.

A NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Kay leads Seniors Strength Training, Yoga and Pilates at Rosehill Community Center. She offers PERSONAL TRAINING and meditation coaching in her studio overlooking the mountains and water, at 828 2nd St. in Mukilteo. Call 425-353-4545. “Like” her on Facebook @ Kay Wagner Wellness. Visit

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