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by Janine DeFao
For many of us, back to school means back to stressful mornings of hassling our kids and hurrying them, and ourselves, out the door before the school bell rings. Then come the afternoons of carpooling and mindboggling efforts to keep track of everyone’s activities and social calendars.
In an effort to keep the tardy slips from piling up, and our blood pressure down, Bay Area Parent spoke with career and life coach Louise Goeckel of Alameda for some tips on having an organized, stress-free September. For more information, visit letsgoforward.biz.
They don’t have to be, but they’re probably going to be, even with the best laid plan. I encourage people to have a little compassion with themselves. Some things you can’t control. In the morning, before you even get up, it’s helpful to take a few moments to remember ‘What am I doing?’ and “Why am I doing it?’ The love and connection with your children is more important than whether they’re wearing two different socks.
Evening preparation the night before is a magical gift to yourself. It doesn’t need to be long – five to 15 minutes of packing lunches, laying out clothes or organizing paperwork. You may not have time to put out everything in advance, but the decision-making you’ve done in advance will help so there aren’t so many choices in the morning to take up time and confuse you.
Oftentimes, fights are about the issue of independence. The kid is saying, “I’m the one who wants to pick something. I want to be responsible for that.” Their joy and success is building their confidence.
That’s a challenge. The only thing that has worked for us is one calendar where everything is combined, whether it’s a paper calendar or an online one. I also like to keep a container on my refrigerator door where I keep all the essential things for the week in that basket: tickets for a show, checklists for sporting events, sign-up sheets for volunteering. If it has anything to do with getting out the door, it’s in one place.
Sometimes, it’s all about letting go. I don’t believe you can have everything at once and do it well. You have to make choices.
– Janine DeFao
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