It’s that time again – BACK TO SCHOOL! Some days it feels like Back to Stress! It seems like every day we open our wallets and money just flies out – supplies, clothes, another box of crayons, shoes, fees, supplies, and even more clothes. Did I mention supplies? There’s also the stress and nervousness of new teachers, new friends, and sometimes new schools. Back to school does not need to mean back to stress. These tips will help!
Back to Sleep – A few weeks before school starts, get your sleep schedules lined up with what it will be for school. Warning: Your kids will not want a bedtime when they haven’t had one, but this is where moms and dads just have to set a rule and stick to it! That first week of school, you will thank me for this one!
Back to Snacks – During the summer, kids experience an open kitchen. While school is in session, they eat at very specific times. Some lunches begin before 11. If you have access to your child’s lunch schedule, try to implement a similar schedule the last week of summer. This is also a great time to try out all of those great lunch ideas you have pinned all summer. (And if you haven’t pinned any, find some on pintrest and try them out!)
Back to Supplies – Even with all the fabulous sales right now on school supplies, it can still add up to a small fortune. Remember, not everything has to be new. Keep supplies year after year and only replace those that really need replacing. When you find something for a great deal, stock up! If possible, go shopping without the kids. When an elementary student sees plain pencils and character pencils, they don’t look at the price, all they know is how cool the fancy ones look. If you do take the kids, this is the perfect time to discuss budgets and sales. A fun idea is to keep all supplies plain, then the morning of school, pull out a present with a few colorful, extra special supplies! It can be as simple as a pencil, eraser, or coupon for a special after school snack.
Back to Schedules – Set up schedules the first week of school. If kids know what to expect, they will know how to react. Morning routines, bedtime routines, as well as after school snack/homework/downtime/sports schedules keep things organized and structured. Set a schedule that works for your family, communicate it effectively, then implement it and stick to it!
Back to Sadness – I wish I didn’t feel the need to put this in here, but kids encounter serious problems at school. Peer pressure starts younger and younger while bullying continues on many campuses. The stress kids feel with overloaded schedules, not enough sleep, and poor nutrition is very real and overwhelming to their growing bodies. Add the emotional situations they find themselves in everyday and now childhoods are looking more like little adulthoods. Keep the lines of communication open. Discuss situations with your child’s teacher before they become problems. Discuss daily events with your child and let them know you are on their side. Be encouraging and let them know how proud you are how much you love them.
Back to Success – As a parent, it is up to YOU to ensure your child is successful. When your child struggles, find the best way to help them. Counteract that area of struggle with something they feel confident in. If you child struggles in reading, work on it daily. Find something they do succeed in and spend just as much time doing that. (Read for 20 minutes then play with legos for 30 minutes!) Focus on an areas they are weak in, they will see failure. If your child knows you believe in them, they will start believing too!
All of these are good tips, but my number one tip for back to school – PRAY.