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Jen Hatmaker’s Advice on Easing Back into School

It started on the last day of camp, the crabbiness, the pushing back, the testing of boundaries, and a huge cry for independence.  At one point, our son even said to my husband, “I wish you guys would stop telling me what to do!”  Reminder, he’s 7!

This behavior continued through the next 2 weeks until school started and kept on until very recently.

I always forget that the transition from one routine to another brings challenges.  

I get about halfway through when, just about the time I’m about to lose my mind, I realize, Ah! We’re going through a change and change is hard.

I found this advice from Jen Hatmaker to be especially helpful and I thought you might appreciate it too.

“Dear ones,

This is my yearly PSA because I am here for you and sometimes we forget things: By the end of your cherubs’ first week of school, they are: D O N E.

Listen to me: do not go to “celebration dinner” Friday night, do not go to the late football game, do not decide to run errands, do not make big plans, do not ask one million questions, do not force them to talk about everything, do not attempt to execute ANYTHING AT ALL in which your expectations include children who are pleasant.

They are like overfilled balloons. Should you accidentally push them too hard by, for example, asking them to chew with their mouths closed or making suggestions for dinner or any other unreasonable pressure, they will violently burst and ruin the thing you were dumbly considering as a Fun Family Situation.

Your Friday night plans after the first week of school need to involve a couch, some blankets, a pizza, and a movie. That is it.

That is all anyone can handle. Your kid will make it past the first twenty minutes tops. They are all goners. Do not put them in the car and try to go somewhere, because they will turn your car into the Crazy Train.

Ditto: Saturday morning plans. Ditto: That whole first weekend. Your mission should you choose to accept it because you are a Smart Person is to do and plan nothing the first weekend after school starts.

Let their little bodies catch up. They are exhausted after their summer of being sloth children who now have to think and pay attention for seven hours a day. Plus, first week of school emotions. Plus, change. Plus, new scenarios and teachers and students and schedules. Plus, that one mean girl. Plus, figuring out where to sit at lunch. Plus, all the new rules. Plus, recess politics. Plus, homework. Plus, did their clothes/shoes/hair/backpack fit in right. Plus, the bus. Plus, they learned the F word on the playground and everything feels weird.

Trust your friend Jen: couch, blanket, pizza, movie. That’s your weekend plan. Cancel everything else. You’re welcome.”

How do you handle transitions in your own life and with your children?  I’d love to know.  Leave a comment below.

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