Out With The Old: A New School Year Ushers In New Responsibility For Your Kids

September 2, 2016  |  
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Shutterstock

How familiar is the morning chaos of the first day back-to-school? It’s almost like a movie every year, you and the kids go through the same routines. Maybe you’re an early school shopper, maybe you’re a little late to the party. Nevertheless, just when you think you’ve got everything down pact and prepared for another academic year, all hell breaks loose at the sound of your alarm during those first days of school.

Those perfect lunches you packed the night before have come undone as your children pick apart your selections. Now, instead of effortlessly seeing your adorable babies off to school, you are negotiating and debating what will and won’t make it into their brand new lunchboxes.

This year, save yourself and the kids the frustration of your morning lunch auction by having them pack their own lunch! That’s right, let go, it’s ok, you don’t have to control everything. Give yourself one less thing to do, and start grooming your kids for responsibility, and sound decision making by charging them with the task of their own meal prep.

HOW!? I’m glad you asked. Yes, if it’s left totally up to them, kids are going to pack juice, fruit snacks, chips, and nothing even remotely sound for developing minds and growing bodies. That’s where you come in (see, you’ve still got some power), when you go grocery shopping here’s what you’ll need to grab:

  1. Nifty Containers: Get some “cool” tupperware, and compartmented items like sandwich boxes, animated thermoses, and portion controlled snack holders. Items like these will make it easy for your children to navigate packing their lunch, and the bright, and animated lunch accessories will get them excited about their new chore.

  2. Shop: Make a grocery list with your kids. Explain to them the importance of healthy eating, and balanced nutrition. Make the kitchen a central location for the family to gather, and collectively decide what the shopping list will entail. Not only will they feel empowered by inclusion, but you’ll be getting some quality time together as well. Introduce your children to alternatives to some of their usual favorite treats and snacks, that will be healthier for them, and easier for them to manage while packing. Some great options are nuts, trail mixes, berries, and fruit mixes you can make together at home.

  3. Schedule: Decide when would be best for you, and your children to prepare their lunch. Maybe the evenings after dinner, or maybe in the morning after breakfast. Be open to their ideas and suggestions, and find common ground that gives everyone ease about the latest change.

  4. Don’t panic: So you’ve relinquished just one of the things you do for your children out of love. No worries! They aren’t growing to fast, and they won’t forget about you. They will still need you to wash their clothes, cook their dinner, and referee their sibling fall outs. You still get to help with school projects, and be on the classroom snack committee. This is just a small ripple in the large pond of who your children are growing to be. Wait until prom to freak out. Besides, they’re probably trading snack at the lunch table anyway.

Let the kids picking and packing their own lunches be jest the beginning of them having having more responsibility in the home. Start a schedule of chores for the kids like washing dishes, setting the dinner table, folding laundry, etc. that’s appropriate for their ages. Post the chores on the refrigerator so everyone can see what they have coming up for the week.

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