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By: Ellen Geller Kamaras

If you could snap your fingers and make the ‘back to school’ (BTS) process smooth and seamless, what would that look like? Or in coach-speak, what is your “vision” for getting your children successfully back into the school routine?

Vision can give us purpose and hope, help us solve a problem or achieve a goal, and create passion and inspiration. It is said that, worse than being blind, is having sight but no vision. Our greatest leaders are known for their vision. I encourage you to decide upon yours too.

Here’s how to formulate your vision for BTSFall 2017 and make it a reality.


 Successful leaders can articulate their vision for the future and be clear about where to direct the efforts of those who follow them. As parents, we act as leaders for our children and must verbalize to them what our vision is for the coming school year.But before you can describe it, you must have clarity. Are you clear about what you want to see happen? Are you confident that you can execute your vision? Below are some sample “visions” for you to consider.

I envision getting my children ready for the school year in a positive, calm, and inspiring way. I want to have all the travel logistics in place, such as carpool and bus schedules. I also want to have healthy snacks ready when they get home and then start them on homework.


My vision for this coming year is to have all the pieces in place to avoid last minute stress. I don’t want my children to be anxious because I don’t have it together. I don’t want to be a last minute Lizzie and run around like a chicken without a head. I want to be a positive role model for my children and teach them to plan and prepare.

Communicate Your Vision

If we can’t communicate our BTSvision to our children, spouse, and caregivers then it will never happen. Communicate in clear and simple language. Ask for feedback and be open to the ideas of others. Communication is a two way process. As parents and spouses we need to listen carefully to responses and be sensitive to alternate opinions.

It’s not only about ourvision. Our children and spouses are also owners in the BTSprocess. What is your children’s vision for the new school year? As a key partner in this process, your spouse may have some wonderful ideas to share too.

Ask your children about their expectations and concerns for the coming school year. What would they like to do differently? Engage them so that they are invested in the BTSprocess.

Get Involved

 Research shows that parental involvement in their children’s education and development yields many positive benefits. These include better grades and school attendance, as well as homework completion, higher self-esteem, self-discipline, and motivation.

Ask your spouse to help you plan a family meeting at a fun location and invite your children to brainstorm with you. Then, listen to and acknowledge their ideas before acting on them together.

Be Positive

One of the most important pieces of advice we can give our children is to practice “a glass half full” outlook. Starting a new school year can be anxiety provoking for all involved. Let your children talk about their worries and make sure to really listen to and address them before the school year begins.

The good news is that the new school year brings with it lots of opportunities and possibilities. Both parents and students get a fresh start and a clean slate. Parents can plan more efficient carpool schedules and strive for an improved work-life balance. Students get the chance to make new friends, try out new study tools and learn from new teachers. That’s as good as it gets!

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Once you’re comfortable with your vision for the coming school year, you’ll need a plan with which to execute it. Being prepared is the defining trait of true leaders and athletes. When my clients express their goal, I ask them if it is a SMARTgoal. SMART goals enable you to be successful in your project or job. They also help you focus your energies, time and resources in the most productive manner.

As yourself these questions to ensure your goal is a SMART one: Is my goal Specific, Measurable or Meaningful, Achievable or Agreed-upon, Realistic, and Time-based?

Specific- Is your goal well defined?

Measureable or Meaningful– Do you know how far away from completion your goal is? Is your goal or vision meaningful to you, your spouse and children?

Achievable–Do you have the support and skills to make your goal a reality?

Realistic – Is your goal realistic given your available resources and knowledge?

Time– Do you have the time necessary to make your goal happen?

Ellen Kamaras, CPA/MBA, is an International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach. Her coaching specialties include life, career and dating coaching. Ellen helps people find their passion, purpose and positivity in life and love.
Ellen can be contacted at (