Making things seem normal in a dystopian pandemic may seem impossible, but you can do it.
Even in the best times school drop off can be a challenge. Mornings suck, and teachers and other students can make them even more unfun. Tests are stressful, homework can be hard and in general, things can just be awkward.
And then, we’re in a pandemic that shows no sign of ending.
School schedules are truncated in many places with our kids attending on alternating days or hours, some schools started the year early, others will start late. And when our kids get to school the routine is new: Masks, temperature readings and social distancing.
But you’ve got to think positive and get through it. To help send off my daughter with a not-so-gloomy cloud over her head, here’s how I set the right mood for school drop off.
School Drop Off: How to Set the Right Mood
The car ride to school is just as important as a good breakfast. If you’re rushing to school or yelling at your kids for being late or misbehaving, even if you’re personally stressed out, your kid will feel your energy. And dropping a child off to school this way will surely affect their entire morning, mood, even their day.
Music is Key
Back when my daughter was in preschool, I’d play her favorite tunes in the morning. She’d sing “Baby” by Justin Beiber all the way to school, give me a squishy hug and kiss and take charge of the classroom. As she got older, the songs changed but it always helped. Enter middle school- the emotional rollercoaster began. How could I forget? Music! Naturally, apps like Apple Music and Spotify became my BFFs. I created a Disney playlist, a Pentatonix playlist, the Beatles, even a classical music playlist. Something for every possible mood she could be in. If she was just tired or giving dramatic sighs, Disney. If she had a test, classical. And guess what? She’d always end up singing or humming along.
I like to look for any playlists that include a favorite artist or song of my daughter’s. If you don’t have music apps, make your own playlists on your phone.
Create a Comfortable Space
A bottle of water for the backseat cupholder, a neck pillow, and a blanket for the ride and on harder days, the dog will ride along. School is only a 5-minute ride for us but the line can be a whole lot longer so these things come in handy.
Have a Pep Talk
I have a middle schooler but I can tell you pep talks have helped through every age so far. Not a lecture, a pep talk. Hormones get crazy after 5th grade and kids need to stay positive. If your child shows concern or anxiety over exams, study on the way or quiz them. If they don’t feel confident about something, reassure them that they are doing amazing and will be ok. Give them words of encouragement. This will help boost their mood.
Keep Mints and Cough Drops in the Car
Before my daughter leaves the car, she loves to grab a mint. During allergy season, she takes cough drops. Mom concierge is the best, right? 😉
Always Say ‘I Love You’
Even if they forget to say it back, remind your kids that they are loved. It’s so hard to be a kid these days with all of the pressures of social media and now, health rules that change by the minute and the safety fears complicate their insecurities even more. Reminding them that they loved and safe is the best thing you can do.