Arielle’s Insight: The Handoff
One thing I do not miss from my childhood is living out of a suit case. When I was about 10 years old, my father remarried and moved in to my stepmother’s house. It was a bit of a hike to drive to school every morning from her house. But my dad did not want anything to change. The worst thing you can do it abruptly change your child’s schedule or routine. Once you change their routine, their mental clarity will be altered, which in turn will affect how they perform in school and so on. So anyway, those mornings were EARLY. If you have middle school or high school aged children, you know it is already hard to get them out of bed, and then when you add on a long drive to school in the morning it is a recipe for a grumpy teenager.
Make it special: One way my dad made those mornings more enjoyable was to stop at the Dunkin Donuts for some breakfast and a fun coffee drink. Now, when I was in high school it was “cool” to have the mocha/vanilla/frappe/latte/caramel drizzled/coffee drinks! So, I loved it.
Start a tradition: Another idea, especially in the morning would be to start a tradition of listening to happy upbeat music.
Prevent Stress: Now, for the ride home after school. I remember that one question, “how was school today?” or “What did you do today?” My brother and I would give that one word answer, “Stuff.” Or we would moan and grunt and complain that we were tired. I do not know what it was about the ride back home, but I guess we were just ready to be home at that point. One thing I hated from our drive home from school was that my dad would always have to stop at the grocery store. Ugh. The dreaded weekly grocery store run for those items you forgot earlier in the week. To reduce your own stress and your child’s stress, try doing all the grocery shopping on the weekends. Or if you must go after work, make it fun. Give each kid (if they are old enough to be alone) a couple items on the list so you can be done the shopping trip quick.