The back-to-school routine is something that consumes all of September because it’s such a drastic change for the family. The Humane Society reports that family members are so overly stressed during this process that family pets also become stressed.
Resetting your body clock is no small feat, but since all family members must run their schedules around the school day, the whole family needs a full month to fully reset their bedtime and wake time. This is most difficult for teens because the body clock of a teenager naturally shifts to later bed times and later wake times. Which means the start time for school is so difficult that it causes health problems throughout the school year.
This ad from Staples nails the mentality that parents need to have at back-to-school time. The mom is trying to buy school supplies, and her two boys are fighting in the aisle behind her. Presumably she dealt with her kids fighting all summer, but now, when it’s time for school, suddenly she is incapable of dealing with her kids. That’s what parents have to believe when they send their kids back to school: school will be better at taking care of them.
(Interesting tidbit: Sibling pairs ages 3-9 fight once every 18 minutes, and psychologist Laurie Kramer says this is an important aspect of developing healthy sibling relationships.)
The Tulsa Health Department recommends that parents get up before the kids and get everything ready so that the morning goes more smoothly. (Which means many parents would have to get up at 5am. Which means the parents would have to go to bed at 9pm, which means the parents wouldn’t be able to help with homework, which often goes beyond 9pm, but that’s for another post.)
The back-to-school process is also the process of school officials reminding you that they are in control and you are the dumb parent trying to keep up with their demands and failing. The National Association of School Psychologists tells parents to “postpone business trips and volunteer meetings” during the beginning of the school year. And they tell parents how to cook dinner in advance.
Really? People need psychologists to tell them how to cook dinner? That’s the clincher for me. Back-to-school is getting back to the mentality that you are not capable of managing your own family when you send your kids back to school.