7 Ways For Single Dads to Prepare for the New School Year

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How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. Share and exchange great fatherhood advice from our members who are in all stages of fatherhood. This month, learn 7 Ways For Single Dads to Prepare for the New School Year….. Read more.

7 Ways For Single Dads to
Prepare for the New School Year

It’s almost time for the new school year. With only a few
weeks of summer remaining, parents are preparing for the new school year ahead
– buying school supplies, purchasing new clothes, and stocking up on food to
give their kids for lunches. If you’re a single dad, you should definitely
start preparing for the end of summer as early as you can to make the
transition smoother.

Most kids will be transitioning from doing nothing and
sleeping until mid-morning, to having a full schedule and getting up at the
crack of dawn. It’s not only hard on the kids, it’s also a difficult time for
the parents.

7 Ways to Prepare for the New School Year

Listen up single dads, here are 7 ways you can get you and
your children ready for the new school year. These 7 items won’t completely
eliminate the stress of the coming school year, but they should make the
transition much smoother.

Reset Their Body

They got used to going to bed late and getting up long after
the sun poked its head over the horizon. Taking the time a couple weeks before
school starts to get them to bed earlier will help prepare them for early
rising when school begins. But, heed these words from Dr. Rafael Pelayo, MD, a
pediatric sleep specialist at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic in Redwood
City, CA, "You have to get your kids on board. If she sees going to bed as a
punishment…she’s going to avoid it." It helps if you change your schedule to
match your kids, at least for a few weeks. If you do keep to this schedule
also, it may not look like a punishment.

how to be a better dad

Figure Out the

When resetting their body clocks (and yours), figure out the
time your children need to wake up in order to get to school on time without
rushing and utter frenetic chaos. Then count backwards nine hours or so, and
you have just determined their bed time. Of course, they won’t always make it
to bed at this time, especially if they are teenagers, but this is a good time
to try for

Allow Time For Some
Fun Before School

If at all possible, allow for some fun time before school
time. Give them time to watch a little television or play video games before
they dress for school. If your child wakes up tired every morning, this might
not be the best plan. But, if they get enough sleep, this is often a good way
to get them motivated for school.

How to be a better dad

Be Patient With

All parents, and especially single ones, have to have plenty
of patience. This is especially important at the beginning of a new school
year. Don’t force things every night. If one or two nights they want to stay up
late, let them. Just as parents sometimes stay up late or just don’t feel tired
when they are supposed, kids are the same way.

Clear Out Space

Before school starts, make sure to set up a proper work
environment for your kids. They will definitely have homework right away, and
they need a proper place to do their work. Clear out the clutter, set up the
computer, make sure there’s enough paper, pencils, and pens, and check to make
sure the printer has ink. Some kids do fine with clutter while others need
everything to be perfectly in place. Whether they like disorganized
organization or a picture perfect room, making sure their work space is all
ready for the new school year will make the transition much easier.

Find Out Why They
Don’t Want to Go to School

Some kids will whine and cry about going to school. If this
describes your child, it’s important to find out why. If it’s merely because
they don’t want summer to end, then a friendly conversation over some snacks
will help ease their pain (and result in some great father/ child bonding
time). However, if it is something more serious – I’m afraid of being bullied,
I have no friends, or anything similar – then you need to have a serious
conversation about the new school year.

Meet the Teacher

This is best done before the school year starts – in the
week prior is a great time. Making contact in person or through email is best.
You can let the teacher know about any special needs, sensitivities, or fears
your child has, and you can find out more about the teacher. Don’t wait until
after the year starts – the teacher’s life will be unusually chaotic for a few

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Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
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RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
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