The back to school season is hard enough as it is: hectic schedules, loads of errands, a new care situation, and a bit of anxiety for everyone… Of the endless challenges posed by the start of the new school year, we have thought about those most dreaded and stressful and what solutions are out there. The following eleven tips are guaranteed to make things a little bit easier.
1. Back to School Anxiety
Talk about their worries. When back to school nerves start up, use humor to ease the stress of changing classes to changing in PE class. Who cares if you’re in your underwear–it’s the locker room, everyone else is too!
2. Making Breakfast Easy
Don’t do it yourself. Putting breakfast options in the hands of your child will help them learn to budget their time wisely if they want time to enjoy the meal. Freeze muffins or buy granola bars in bulk to give the kids choices for easy-to-make meals on the go.
3. Buying Supplies on a Budget
Use what you have. Be sure to check around the house before you buy. And for everything else, take advantage of vouchers which you may receive in the mail.
4. Watching Too Much TV
Set TV limits. Use TV as a reward during the week and go lax on the weekends. Try to use books and your imagination instead of the big screen, as hard as that might be.
5. Managing the Mess
Make the kids responsible. Back to school season brings backpacks, new shoes and a hodgepodge of other items into the house. The key is to make a place for everything and make it your kid’s job to put things away. But don’t forget, a little disarray is inevitable–brace yourself for clutter.
6. Knowing What They Really Did at School Today
Be informal. Chat in the car or while cooking together. Kids are more likely to open up when they don’t feel the pressure of a face-to-face conversation. Make it easier for them to have tough discussions by avoiding eye contact and don’t be too serious.
7. Getting The Supplies You Need, Early
Accept support of the school. If your school offers school supply packages, take advantage of it. These packages guarantee your kids will have everything they need on their first day. Try not to miss the deadline on this or you’ll be last-minute shopping with the masses.
8. Getting Kids Out of Bed
Don’t force it. Enjoy your last days of summer without insisting your kids wake up at school time. When it comes to sleep everything will work itself out. Once school starts, just let their bodies naturally adjust to the new sleep schedule.
9. Packing School Lunches
Always the night before. Avoid extra stress in the morning by preparing lunches ahead of time. Have the kids help make their own and they’ll be more likely to actually eat it.
10. Stay Up-to-date with School Events
Stay social. Utilize your “village” of school parents and friends. Share phone numbers with other parents, create Google calendars you can share with them, etc. Setting reminders on your phone won’t hurt either.
11. Getting Homework Done
First things first. Putting things off only makes school nights more stressful, so homework comes before everything–even playdates. Set your children up in their favourite quiet spot when they come in the door, give them some space, and save a treat for when their homework in finished.
Further useful articles:
- Options for After-school Childcare
- Your ABCD School Lunch Planner
- When Can My Child Walk to School Alone?