Help Your Kids Avoid Back to School Stress With These 6 Tips!
As back to school looms around the corner, we’re all reminded of the classic Staples ad with their twist on the holiday jingle “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Of course there are thousands of kids out there who would disagree. Kids who scowl at their parents’ gleeful faces as they buy school supplies and shop for school clothes. But back to school can be exciting for kids. As parents we’re natural spin doctors, it’s in our power to make this time exciting, and these are a few simple things you can try:
Involve them in the back to school planning process:
Whether you have a pre-schooler or a pre-teen, involve them with decisions on selecting their clothing or school supplies. There has rarely been a child who didn’t have an opinion about what colour back pack they wanted, or what style of pencil case they’ll use. Involving them helps kids get excited, has them start thinking about school, and gently gears them back into school mode.
Many of us may have given our kids a lot of screen time this summer. It may be time to introduce that old school thing on the shelf… a book! If they aren’t reading independently yet, scheduling a half hour of reading in the afternoon, or before bed with them is a simple way to get back to the habit. Discuss about their favourite characters or series and create a simple reading list for books they can look for in the school library. For bonus creativity points, if you have young kids, make a reading chart with them, and they’ll get a sticker for each book they read, with a small prize when they complete the chart.
Plan the first day of school ensemble
Normally we’d think girls would be planning this way in advance, but my boys, along with many friends who have sons also want to dress “just right”. Of course “just right” may not be exactly what you have in mind, but the most important thing is that they feel comfortable and confident with what they’re wearing. Even if their shirts and pants don’t match, it’s most important that they start their first day of school happy, and feeling great when they walk into the school yard!
Lunch is meant to be eaten
Are you one of the ten million people that watched the video with the immaculate fridge filled with bins of fruit, snacks, cheese, and ready made sandwiches that a mom has lovingly organized? Did you notice that there’s no ketchup at the back of the shelf, or two day old lasagna…. Let’s be real, not many of us are going to do this (#whohastimeorpatience). But it’s simple to put snack items such as granola bars, packaged crackers, etc. in an easy to reach space in a cupboard for them to pick out, along with some string cheese and a piece of fruit on a shelf in the fridge. Studies have shown that kids who are involved in planning their meals are more likely to eat what’s packed for lunch. So we may not have the super stacked lunch-o-matic fridge, but doing a little organization can do wonders.
A few photos to say goodbye to summer
We all have hundreds of photos on our phones, but rarely do the images appear on paper! Printing a few picture from the highlights of the summer and putting them on your child’s desk or bulletin board is a nice memory that they can enjoy. Not everyone has the perfect first day of school, it’s nice that they can walk into their room and be surrounded by memories of sun and fun.
Lunch notes work wonders!
Whether you have a child in JK or grade 6 (although your 11 year old will NEVER admit it) a note from mom in their lunch gives them a moment to smile. Drawing a simple smiley face, a jotting a few simple words of encouragement, or writing a cheesy knock knock joke can change your child’s day around.
We hope some of these tips help ease the way to the start of the new school year! And if all else fails, hang in there…there’s only 300 days until next summer!