Back to School season is upon us and if you are like many busy moms and dads these days, you might be looking for a way to take the stress out of it all. This can really be a hectic time, even if you think you’ve done all that you can to plan and be prepared, the chaos of back to school can still get to you.
The shopping, the planning, the packing… and then getting everyone back on their school schedule. It can be a lot to handle. How can you go into this year without the stress, without the anxiety, and without any tears from anyone? Well, we have some tips to get you started on the right foot.
Here are our top 10 back to school tips for moms and dads:
- Buy the necessities online – Whenever possible, hit the internet for the most important stuff. You can get all the basic supplies online and shipped right to your door. You can take your time choosing the items and looking for the best deals right in your pajamas if you want. Make use of your Amazon Prime membership and get some free shipping, too.
- Shop early – If you shop at the end of the year rather than waiting for the beginning of the next year, you will get the best deals and beat the crowds trying to get last-minute shopping in.
- Stick to the shopping list – It can be tempting to get things that are not on the list, especially if you’re shopping with the kids. They’re going to ask you for this or that, and before you know it, you’re racking up a big bill and forgetting half of the things you need.
- Plan ahead – It always helps to get a jump on a situation. Plan ahead for your back to school shopping, and for school itself. Start planning in advance for your new school schedule. If the kids need to wake up earlier, start weaning them onto the new schedule in advance.
- Create love notes – Back to school season can be stressful for kids of all ages. Take some of the worry out by writing special notes reminding your kids of how much you love them. You can slip them in their lunch boxes, in their backpacks, or give them to them on the way out in the morning.
- Get organized – Organization is your friend, especially during the school year. Some parents like to use a planner or wall calendar just for school events, so they can keep track of everything their kids are going through, and when they need to be at meetings or driving their children to practices. You should also find a place to store and organize all the papers that will come home during school season. You know it will start to take over your home if you don’t create a dedicated space for it and a system for going through them as they come home.
- Understand their anxiety – It’s also important to understand your child may have anxiety about going back to school. There’s a lot of pressure, no matter what age or grade your child is going into. Transitional years can be even more stressful (moving to middle school, to high school, etc.). Some of their anxiety may seem small to you, but school is your child’s full-time job so this is a very important part of their routine. Respect that and support where you can.
- Make sure everyone gets enough rest – Making sure you (and your children) get enough sleep in the days leading up to back to school is very important. Sleep deprivation increases stress and anxiety, makes you forgetful, and leads to poor concentration.
- Be supportive but give some space – A supportive parent also knows when to back up and give their kids some space. Don’t smother. Be there, keep open communication and be supportive, but don’t hover over your child. School is a time for your child to learn independence and responsibility. Give them the freedom to do this.
- Get involved in school activities and events – Another great way to support your child during back to school is to be involved in activities and events happening at school. Even if it seems like a lot to juggle into your already busy schedule, it’s very important that you show support to your students. Show up for Meet the Teacher or Back to School nights, show up for plays and presentations, volunteer with the PTO/PTA and show up every chance you can to support your child and their school.
With these tips, you can keep a handle on back to school season and not feel overwhelmed. Try to remember that this should be a fun and exciting time for you and your children and you don’t have to let the expectations or trends of others get in the way of that.