We Made It!

By Amanda Wright

Yes, a bit of a dramatic statement. But for parents all over the world, the school holidays are now coming to an end and the back to school blues for the kids (and teachers) begins.

Your house can finally begin to look normal again. The TV has more on it than another Disney or Pixar film. The squabbles and fights over the laptops, iPads and, to be honest, anything else that they wanted has now stopped (well at least for during school hours).

Yes, it’s been lovely having the kids off and spending time with them and doing all the great school holiday adventure activities. But we need a break. It’s actually ok to feel the relief about the kids going back to school. You are not alone.

To be honest the kids also need it. The structure and the routine, it’s a good thing. Everyone knows where everyone is and what everyone needs to be doing.

However, for all the excitement might just come from you at this stage, it’s also important to try and get everyone back into the swing of the school routine again.

No more putting clothes on at lunchtime. Eating late. Watching TV in bed until they fall asleep.

Alarms are now set and everyone is up for breakfast, dressed and out that door.

To help take the stress out of the morning routine (let’s face it, only Mary Poppins could get everyone up, ready and out the door in perfect timing without feeling a little stressed), why not try things like, the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock?

This is a great app which actually monitors your sleep and wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase. Don’t worry it doesn’t do this sporadically but during a 30 minute window that ends at your set alarm time. Making sure you wake up in a more natural way, and hopefully feeling more rested and ready to start the day!

Every family has some kind of morning ritual. This can now be programmed into an app, cleverly known as Morning Ritual – to help keep everyone on the right track. Great for the kids to get involved too and keep them to a tight schedule!

Music can also be a great way to brighten up everyone’s moods and Spotify have teamed up with music psychologist David M. Greenberg to piece together the perfect, science-backed morning playlist.

We all know we work better and remember more when it’s written in a list. Wunderlist can help! Wunderlist syncs between your phone, tablet and computer, so you can create your list on one device and wake up in the morning and check it on your phone. You simply set your tasks with due dates and reminders etc. and these can even be shared with friends and family – making you super organised and stress free (hopefully).

As well as the routine of daily life, it’s also about being prepared for the ambush when the kids come in from school.

Yes preparing dinner and getting ready for the bedtime routine but also preparing for all of the information they have to tell you. The letters in their book bags as well as the beautiful pictures and paintings they have created.

Let’s face it there’s only so much room on your fridge for you to place their work of art. Plus, it’s on and off the fridge so many times to show everyone who calls round, that to be honest you’re not really sure how much longer it’s going to last!

Fear not. Of course looking into technology and what is now available online. There is a solution!

Keepy allows you to snap a photo of your kid’s creations, tweak the lighting and colour and then organise by location and date. It also allows your kids to record video notes about their creations and of course share these with their biggest fans – their grandparents!

Other apps similar to Keepy is Canvsly, Artkive (more straightforward with the focus on simply organising and storing your kid’s creations) and Art My Kid Made (for those who are more into showcasing their kid’s masterpieces!)

The school holidays are a great opportunity for us to spend some time with our children. To relax the rules ever so slightly and to have some fun. But it’s also great to get our routine back. The kids happy to see their friends at school, proud as punch to tell you what they’ve been doing all day and for parents…a chance to gain back some normality and maybe a tidy house (but then again maybe just during school hours!)

Taken from the September issue of Geek Parenting, out now!

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