Wednesday’s Parent: 3 sure-fire words to adjust to new routines

New routines disrupt patterns. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

New routines disrupt patterns. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

There is comfort in knowing the pattern. It makes meeting expectations easier. Alterations mess with predictability and wipe out the ease of habit. Fortunately, there are tips to smooth the adjustment to new routines.

A new school year represents big change for students and their parents. Students must adapt to new schedules, classrooms, activities, teachers and classmates. Parents have to merge their child’s schedule with their own. Time pressed, added responsibilities and increased workload can stress families to the max. Perhaps the hardest part is getting to know new people or reacquainting with those one hasn’t seen for a while. Or maybe it’s adding all the extra things to do for college prep.

As students and parents get familiar with the new rules, it’s is helpful to review my 5 rule-breaking ways to encourage. To this I add my three easy to remember S-words to spark the adjustment to new routines:

Sleep Never underestimate the power of getting enough rest. Sleep improves mental and physical abilities. It is a biological necessity that is often not respected. Without adequate rest, it’s more difficult to think and act clearly and efficiently in the best of times let alone dealing with new situations and people. A nap may help but make getting sufficient zzz’s each night a priority.

Study This is two tips in one word. First, get full value out of an education by learning the material and not for the sake of a test. Plan for study time and create a quiet place to do it. Tap available resources in or out of school when additional help is needed. Second, refine observation skills. Notice and remember details about people, places and things. Making studying a priority will help navigate the school’s halls as well as remembering facts like a new friend’s name (see also first reason).

Smile Don’t be afraid to say hi first and smile when you do it. Smiles are a two-way street with double benefits. Most times they are automatically reciprocated. Simply turning the corners of one’s mouth upward can become an ice-breaker while reducing stress. Smiling can be a mood lifter. Just think about a happy memory or future event and gain confidence by making smiling a priority.

Read Suzanne’s post: Establishing a Back to School Routine


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

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