The beginning of a new school year can be challenging for many kids – adapting to new classmates, a new teacher and, likely, a new environment altogether. Though initially exciting for some students, there are those who require a bit more time adjusting to back-to-school season, and the new physical and social situations that come with it.

There are steps you, as parents, can take within the home to help facilitate this transition using a variety of simple tools and products…some of which you may already have lying around. Discover a world of opportunities for introducing some much-needed positivity and year-round optimism back into your kids’ lives without breaking a sweat or breaking the bank. Here are our five best tips for bringing positivity into the house.


5 ways to encourage positivity in the house


Teach gratitude

One of the most surefire ways to instill positive thinking in your child is by encouraging them to manifest gratitude. While that might sound like a tall order, it doesn’t have to be – sometimes, it can be as simple as jotting down a few words each day.

There is considerable power in writing out what’s on one’s mind. By creating a gratitude mural with the Post-it® Flex Write Surface in your house (somewhere communal, like the kitchen), you and your child can transcribe one or two things you both are grateful for at that moment. Once those moments are living in print, they become easier to remember and reference when life gets a little overwhelming. You can use dry erase AND permanent markers with the Post-it® Flex Write Surface, permanent marker wipes away with just water.

Show love

Back-to-school stressors are unbelievably common – for both students and parents. One of the most effective methods of easing your anxious child into a new school year is also one of the simplest: write an uplifting message on Post-it® Super Sticky Notes and put it in their lunchbox. It could be a funny joke, a charming family anecdote, or a simple “I love you”.

Or make things even more personal by laminating a favorite photograph of one of your child’s fondest memories with the Scotch® PRO Thermal Laminator. A simple gesture that takes no more than five minutes can leave a lasting impression on how your child thinks and adapts to their school day.

Make meaningful lists

Keeping kids busy, active and engaged throughout the weekend helps promote the stimulation and creativity needed to prepare them for the school week ahead! And, what a better time to start than on Saturday morning? By using some basic planning tools, you can help produce a different, more positive kind of day – one that encompasses your child’s physical and emotional needs.

Using organization products like Scotch® Double-Sided Tape to help secure motivational images or stickers, and Post-it® Super Sticky Easel Pads to safely stick to walls where you can see all of your work in action, you can create a calendar of daily tasks to help motivate your kids once they’re awake and ready to face the day. For example, “Morning Meditation from 9:00 am – 9:15 am” followed by “Breakfast Clean-Up at 10:30 am”. Meaningful tasks not only teach kids responsibility, but they also keep them busy. And staying “the right kind of busy” helps bolter moods and encourages overall positivity.

Use your head

A playful home is a positive home, and you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest board games or handheld gaming consoles to get together as a family and create lasting memories. Sometimes, impromptu play can be the best kind.
One of our favorites involves a piece of construction paper, a marker, some Scotch® Double-Sided Tape and a pad of Post-it® Super Sticky Notes from the new Summer Joy Collection: simply cut a long strip from the construction paper and wrap it around your child’s head (like you’re fitting him or her for a crown). Once the strip fits snugly on their head, fasten the ends together with a piece of tape. Then, write a word or phrase on the note, stick it onto their construction paper headband, and, using only hand actions, have your child act out the clue until the right answer is guessed. Alternate back and forth and make a night of it!

Say it loud

At home, kids can benefit from learning how to train their minds to recognize their own positive traits. One of the best ways to aid in this self-training is by writing and reciting daily affirmations.

Using Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, encourage your kids to form their own self-affirmations and write them down. Then, stick these notes on their bedroom desks or on the bathroom mirror so that they can recite them aloud while getting ready for school. Simple, yet effective ways of manifesting positivity.

We hope you enjoyed these creative tips for bringing positivity into the home. Discover more products for encouraging year-round optimism that your kids can take with them back to school – and beyond!

School supplies are available from www.jacobsgardner.com

How To Structure an Unstructured Week

<strong>How To Structure an Unstructured Week</strong>

Today’s blog comes to us from renowned organizer, Julie Morgenstern. Her best-selling book, “Organizing From the Inside Out” is one of our favorites.


Structure Your Week


Here’s an interesting challenge: How do you structure your time when you are not tied to an outside schedule? A reader inspired us with this note:

“I am retired and struggling to accomplish the important things because I get so bogged down in daily must-dos. I’d like help with overwhelm and staying on track to fulfill the big life purpose stuff.”

Whether you crave retirement or dread it (because you don’t know how you would fill all that free time), it’s astonishing how days can suddenly slip through your fingers when the routine of the workday is gone. The most mundane tasks (shopping, laundry, or researching a new cell phone plan) can suddenly take over your entire day, leaving you exhausted and drifting in a sea of unsatisfying drudgery.

It’s not just retirement that can put us in this situation. Sudden job loss, illness, or choosing to stay home to raise kids all remove the external structure generated by our work lives. As much as we may sometimes feel slaves to our work schedules, the structure is also powerful and grounding as an organizing principle for our lives.

So, how do you organize your days to be meaningful and fulfilling when you are not tied to an outside schedule? Here are three strategies that can help

1. Preserve the structure of the work day.

When you think about it, the structure of our workdays is an extension of the structure of our school days, a routine that has been with us since we started kindergarten. That predictable, reliable architecture subdivides our days into smaller blocks of time. You wake up, get ready and leave the house. There’s a morning activity, lunchtime, followed by an afternoon activity. Then dinner time, an evening activity, and bedtime. It is a helpful infrastructure in that it is easier (and arguably more interesting) to organize 2 or 3 hours at a time rather than 24 amorphous hours.

2. Fill the structure with activities you choose.

Once you embrace the built-in structure that is at your fingertips, the only question becomes what you pour into that structure. When you are in charge of the routine, you get to choose what activities you will assign to the morning, afternoon, and evening blocks. Choose activities you find meaningful, fulfilling, and fun. It might take some experimentation, but the good news is–you have the freedom to explore and find the things that bring you energy and satisfaction.

3. Assign themes to time blocks:

I have noticed certain patterns of what people crave time for when they are too busy with work. We all tend to crave time for Physical health (exercise, body care); Learning (expanding your knowledge through reading, adventures, classes, etc); and Relationships (spending time connecting with and expressing love for the important people in our lives). You can take these themes and assign them to different time blocks in the day (like being your own camp director). For example, perhaps mornings are for physical health, afternoons are for learning, and evenings are for relationships. Of course, you may occasionally need to spend time during the week or weekend for life’s drudgery stuff, but it can be contained to just one or two blocks, as needed. That still preserves plenty of time blocks for more fulfilling activities.

When you have the gift of freedom to organize your own schedule as you wish, the goal is to fill it with what’s most important to you. Stick to the beautiful architecture that you’ve had your whole life, but embrace the opportunity to fill that architecture with activities of your own choosing. Things that really ignite your spirit and allow you to explore all of who you are in your best self.

Calendars and planners are available from www.jacobsgardner.com