It’s back to school season, which means parents throughout the country are starting to stress out. There is a lot of planning and prep work that happens at this time, and it can feel overwhelming in the moment. We’re here to help you squash the stress so this can be a pleasant experience for your family. Check out these stress management tips for back to school season, courtesy of Oakland Psychological Clinic.
Start Shopping as Early as Possible
One of the most stressful components of this timeframe is back to school shopping. Not only do you have to buy all new school supplies, but you also have to buy new clothes for the school year. Start shopping as early as possible. This will save you from paying a lot of money in a short frame of time, and it will reduce the stress for each shopping trip. If your children are of different ages, you may stagger the shopping over several weekends. You could take your teenage daughter when Old Navy is having a big sale, and then you could take your first-grader when there’s a sale at the GAP. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be fighting through crowds to get everything you need.
Get Your Children on a School-Like Schedule
About two weeks before school starts, get your kids back in their school routines. They may have altered schedules in the summer because they do not have to wake up at a certain time each day. Get them in the habit of going to bed on time, waking up on time, and eating meals at specific moments of the day. This will reduce the risk of tantrums and chaos on the first day of school.
Stay Up-to-Date about School Changes (Bus Routes, Start Dates, etc.)
If the school has an active social media account, follow it. This is one of the first places they will notify parents of upcoming changes. You can also watch the news for information about bus schedules, school start dates, and more. Stay well-informed, and you’ll be fully prepared for the first day.
Attend the School’s Open House
If the school has an open house, attend it with your child. This gives your child a chance to see the classroom, meet the teacher(s), find his or her locker, and get acclimated to the school. This is particularly important for children transitioning to new schools, like a middle schooler going into high school. The transfer can be scary for them. Attending the open house will make them feel more comfortable and prepared when the big day finally comes. It also gives you a chance to interact with the instructors and ask any questions you may have before school starts.
Make This Seem Like an Exciting Time
Your children are most likely dreading going back to school. That means the summer is over and they have to get back to ‘work.’ Be positive when you talk about school. You might not be looking forward to the shopping and preparation, but don’t let your kids see that. Put a smile on your face, and get them excited about going back to school. This will set a great tone for the start of the year.