GiGi’s Top 10s for Graceful Living

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (World Bible Translation).

78461100We can all use back-to-school etiquette and organizational tips, which over time become life-long habits.

  1. Be prepared the night before to make the morning go smoother. Sign all papers. Pull all clothes. Allow plenty of time for your child to dress and eat in the morning.
  2. Be on time for carpool. Don’t make the driver wait.
  3. If your child rides a bus, teach them bus courtesies, such as no pushing, how to handle when someone is sitting next to a friend they want to sit with, etc.
  4. Create a landing spot for backpacks; papers in, papers out. Make it a habit to clean these out daily so that they don’t become overwhelming. Allow extra time to fill out the plethora of forms that arrive that first week by not making unnecessary plans. It could relieve stress.
  5. Ease into the new sleeping schedule at least a week or two before so that the first week of school is a good experience. Set alarm clocks. Have school-age children set their own alarm clocks to get up in the morning. Praise them for prompt response to morning schedules and bus pickups. Talk to them about the benefits of being rested.
  6.  Remind your children of common courtesies in the classroom and beyond. Do a little role-playing. Some of those courtesies are waiting your turn, raising your hand, no blurting, following school and class rules, and being kind on the playground. Encourage them to name some of the courtesies before you do.
  7. Disconnect electronics such as TV and video games for a while. Encourage your child to read, color, work with printed learning games, etc. This actually encourages children to problem solve and gives them the gift of learning enjoyment.
  8. Have a few meals together as a family. In my 25 years of teaching etiquette and communication skills, I have observed the breakdown of an ability to carry on a simple conversation. HR people hire me to teach that very thing to the new hires so that they can represent the company with poise instead of only via electronic communication. Many opportunities occur for parents to encourage conversations at the dining table with a little bit of mindfulness.
  9. Be proactive in encouraging good mental, physical and spiritual health for your children for at least a month before the first school day. They will arrive at school better prepared to learn by already having these things in their everyday lives.
  10. Review required homework that is sent home for at least the first week or two. If children know you are interested and that there is an accountability factor in place at home, it will help to jump start them into healthy homework habits.