Wind down to summer vacation usually means a wind up in anxiety for many parents. The – dum dum dum – back to school whirlwind approaches. No worries, parents. We have 8 foolproof tips to ensure the transition between summer and school goes as painlessly as possible.
Set up a bedtime and wake-up routine in advance. If you can, try starting these new routines about two weeks in advance of the first day. By the time that first school bell rings, kids will be well rested and on the right sleep schedule.
Get to know the teachers. Despite the plethora of open houses, orientations, and meet-and-greet options many schools host during back-to-school, you won’t get a lot of quality one-on-one time with your kids’ teachers to get to know them. If you can pluck out a few minutes before or after school to chat one-on-one, everyone will be benefited.
Plan healthy lunches and snacks. By planning meals at home, you are more likely to make healthy choices for your children during the school day. Protein-rich snacks and lunches, with fruits and vegetables, and other yummy wholesome items will make sure your kids have the right brainpower and energy to tackle their school days.
Organize clothing. We’ve all been there – morning meltdown. Just what are they going to wear? Once you’ve donated the clothes your kids have outgrown, take a few more minutes to carefully organize what is left. From there you can decide what you need more of before school starts, and it will make helping your kids pick out their outfits on Sunday afternoon for the whole week that much easier.
Set up a central staging area. The notoriously missing shoe, backpack, or textbook…it always happens. By choosing a clutter-free area of the house as a central housing hub for all things school-related, including lunches and more, you will save yourself precious time and frustration in the mornings.
Update medical records. Schools routinely let parents know when medical shot records are out of date, but why not go a step beyond? Provide teachers and school administrators with a complete list of any medical concerns or medications they will need to know about your child, including allergies. Also make sure all emergency contacts are updated and notified they are on the emergency call list.
Talk about bullying. Approximately one in three children experience bullying at some point during the school career. With the world becoming increasingly digital, the consequences of such bullying can be extreme. By talking with your children, you can ensure they know how to properly treat their classmates, teachers, and administrators. You can talk about when it is appropriate to speak up if they see bullying happening. And you can make absolutely sure your child knows you will support them if they come to you with information that they are being bullied.
Ask your kids what’s on their mind. Back to school is exciting. It holds so many opportunities for our kids. But there is also a certain amount of anxiety coupled with that excitement. Take a few minutes before the first day to ask your child about what they’re looking forward to, or what might be worrying them. By giving them a forum to talk about their conerns, you can help them get the worries out of the way in advance and take care of any issues that might make the beginning of the year rougher than it needs to be. Plus, you demonstrate to your child that you value their input and recognize their ownership in their own thoughts, opinions, and futures.