Back to School Grandparent Style!

Some expert advice for the whole family*

Although grandparents may not be fully immersed in the daily routines of school and schedules, I often feel there are some ideas to touch base on when this time of year rolls around. Here are some simple thoughts to pass along to the parents of your grandchildren, who work ever so hard on parenting.

While kids are getting ready to go back to school, so are their parents!  Besides shopping for clothes and supplies, families are gearing up for another year. Before you know it, the school year is in full swing, filled with schedules, homework, and activities – and families getting busier and busier!

So – before the school year takes over, I always recommend that families become intentional about the school year. The beginning of school is like a new year. New Year’s resolutions happen in January, so why not set resolutions for the new school year?  I actually recommend setting intentions rather than resolutions (which are often forgotten about or broken by the end of January). There is much more power behind the word intention.  You might say “I’m going to try to be organized this school year”, whereas when you say “I intend to be organized this school year”, you’re more apt to follow through.  Intentions create a greater possibility for commitment.

Before you set your intentions, reflect on past school years and ask yourself…

What has worked in the past?

What was helpful in previous school years?

Where did your family struggle?

What are some simple changes you can make that will create a positive effect for the new school year?

It’s human nature to keep the status quo.  It takes a willingness to self-reflect and choose to do life differently.  Whether you’re a parent of younger children or teens, don’t just hop back on the school year treadmill, just trying to survive the day. Consciously choose to do this year differently.  And if you’re a grandparent, ask your adult kids how you can support them and your grandchildren, especially if you live nearby.

Here are some tips to get you started…

  • Create family conversations about how you would like the new school year to look. Kids, both younger and older, are great solution finders.
  • Look at your family’s daily routine and determine what needs to be adjusted or simplified.
  • Create a family culture around responsibility and privilege. For example, leisure time comes after homework is completed.
  • Carve out daily quiet time…for moms and dads too!
  • Expect the unexpected. Kids get sick, work duties arise.  Create a backup plan…nearby grandparents can be a helpful resource!


*Back to School Grandparent Style! is an exclusive feature for by BONNIE COMPTON, APRN, BC, CPNP. Bonnie has worked with families for more than thirty years as a child and adolescent therapist, parent coach, and pediatric nurse practitioner and is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families. In doing so, Bonnie helps parents and grandparents create healthy boundaries and relationships. She is a writer, speaker, workshop and retreat facilitator, and hosts her own podcast radio program, Wholehearted Parenting Radio, which is available on iTunes, Web Talk Radio, Radioactive Broadcasting Network, and Stitcher Radio. Bonnie lives in Charleston, SC, with her husband. She is a mom of four adult children and believes that being a mother has been her most important job; and loves being Gramma to her three beautiful granddaughters. Bonnie is also the author of a new book, Mothering with Courage.
Have a question? Need to contact Bonnie? 843-718-1551,,