It’s that time again, and at Happy Marlo this year’s back to school is hitting a little differently because my own little girl is starting Reception next week. As the more experienced Mamas know, this is kind of a big deal. All the shared nerves and anticipation – will she make friends easily, will I? Will she like her teacher, will I? Will she cry, will I??? Absolutely! So, I’m leaning in to take some of my own medicine, and that of our Happy Marlo experts, and sharing some of their tips so that whether you’re a school newbie like me, or becoming a seasoned pro, hopefully we can all feel like we have each other’s backs. We’re not alone!
1. Habit Stacking
Many of us are time poor, and the idea of finding space for even important stuff like our kid’s wellbeing can add to the overwhelm. That’s why we’re big fans of habit stacking –sneaking in, or layering on top, a feel-good behaviour with something the kiddos are already doing. Such as tapping while toothbrushing, or a bit of breathwork in the bath. Here’s some quick five-minute micro sessions to get you started.
2. Gratitude Practice
This doesn’t have to feel earnest or forced. We’re all about finding ways to make this stuff feel fun. During the breakfast routine, or one on the way to school, take turns sharing what you’re grateful for. Keep it as simple as being grateful for a cosy bed or snuggles with the cat. Starting the day with gratitude can really help to start (or reframe if the crazy has kicked in early) the morning with a more positive mindset. I’m personally grateful for any morning I haven’t been woken up by the dog at 3am to go downstairs and watch her eat her food… doesn’t happen often enough!
3. Crank up the Music!
While getting dressed in the morning, or at the end of the day together, take turns to put on some favourite songs and dial up the silly. My daughter is all about the ‘beats’. It’s a lovely way to burn off some energy and connect with each other before facing the day or hitting the sack. These moments of connection are just as important as packed lunches and clean socks, and definitely the ones that are more memorable for them and us.
4. Heart Button
And speaking of connection, we absolutely love the sweet idea of the heart button. This is a simple way to support little ones in particular, when feelings of separation anxiety or loneliness come up. Draw a small heart on the palm of their hand and draw a similar sized heart on the palm of yours. Hold hands to ‘activate’ the buttons. Then let your child know that whenever they are missing you at school, or feeling a bit sad or uncertain, they can press the button to send a hug, and you can do the same. I found a little ceramic heart in a shop that my little girl sometimes keeps in her pocket for the same effect. Simple, but powerful.
5. After-School Download
We know that for many kids after a full day of ‘being on’, getting back to the safety and security of home can feel overwhelming resulting in meltdowns or moods. If possible, have something fun or nurturing for them to look forward to after school. This could be anything from a special snack (those kids are always hungry at the end of the day!), an activity, or some quality time together. We highly recommend a soothing sound bath as a way to decompress and switch gears to create a break between school time and family time. Even five minutes can make all the difference. Here’s one we prepared earlier!
If you’ve enjoyed these tips and would like to hear more from Happy Marlo to emotionally empower you and your family, sign up to our monthly newsletter today. The first three subscribers will receive a free pack of our new ‘Feel-Good Activity Cards’. Designed with love, and jam-packed with games, challenges, tips and tricks, these cards will help our little kiddos exercise and build their emotional muscles. Hit us up! May your school runs be easy and as tear-free as possible!