Over the last week through the next week or two, most kids will be going back to school for FY18-19 school year throughout the Bay Area. Yay! Isn’t that exciting? Well yes and no. How so you ask? Well, let me tell you more.
You’ve seen the memes around when kids go to school like these ones:
Apparently, at the end of summer break most parents want the freedom they get when kids leave for school each day. Hey, I am a working mom, but I get it. While they are in school we don’t have to worry to have a plan to keep them busy. Now all we need is a plan from 3pm – 8pm and things like doing homework, having lunch, dinner, and baths take a good chunk of this time, so less to worry about. I guess that could be the joy behind this. However, there are other types of concerns that come when going back to school: getting them to school!
Easier said than done in many cases. I am not saying it is an official thing but from what I’ve talked with other parents, it is fairly “normal” that it takes kids 45-90 minutes to get ready for school… wait, what?! All they have to do is get their little bodies off bed, put on a uniform, eat breakfast and be out the door. For younger children (5-7 years old) you would think: well sure, looks right. But that timing doesn’t improve with age. I’ve talked to friends and coworkers with kids in grades Pre-K-12, and most of them have struggles to get the kiddos ready in the morning and out the door. Putting on your shoes DOES take 30 mins!
And hey, those 10 mins are more like 30, I’m telling ya! And if you have kids who actually are able to get ready and eat their food without you having to ask a gazillion times, lose your cool, or pull the chancla threat, good for you! See we are not necessarily bad parents and our kids are not necessarily bad kids out to get us. The truth is that it takes kids brains, teens especially, longer to wake up and become functional. There has been recent studies showing that if school were to start at a later time, and kids were to be tested later in the rather than early in the day, they will perform better because their brains are awake and functional by then. So while their little bodies might be up at 7am, they aren’t really fully awake nor they will be for the next few hours… great! And yes, there are a few exceptions because just as some adults are early birds and others night owls, little kids will too have a preferred way and if your child is an early bird, well… lucky you!
Our kids are definitely night owls. While we are able to get them to school on time (extra props to my husband who handles the morning routine due to my new schedule), it is a battle at home because they are not fully awake. And of course at night they are wide awake and their little bodies are full of energy and they can’t seem to go to bed and fall asleep for a much needed rest. Aw parenting… so lovely! We haven’t figured out the magic way to improve the morning routine for school days, but if you also have night owls and have figured out a way to improve things in the morning, please do share. If you are in the same boat as us, I just want to say: stay calm, be patient, remain positive. It is truly not that we are terrible parents or that our kids are mean (not fully at least!). Biology does play a role here. Kids and teens specially aren’t just “lazy”, but the school schedule might not be the best for their biological clock. Hang tight! This will be best school year yet… somehow!
Your Overly Optimistic Mama Bear Kim