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Back to School Stress

Face it head on with these organizational tips!

Lois Szymanski

After the long lazy days of summer, it is sometimes hard to get back into a school routine. And if it's difficult for us to get into the swing of things, imagine how hard it is for young children.  Here are some tips to help your family stay on track throughout the school season.

  1. Hang a family bulletin board with to-do items under each child’s name. A felt-board works great for this, but a regular bulletin board works, too. Make it extra special by cutting out giant check-marks that children can put beside their completed chores.
  2. A clean, neat, designated homework station with proper supplies makes it easier for a child to concentrate on his take-home work. Add a hook nearby for a backpack and keep an easy-to-read calendar on the wall with important homework assignments and school trip dates. And if your child comes home alone, you may want to add a hook for the house key, so he or she always knows where to find it.
  3. An after-school snack basket is a great way to offer your child the quick boost he may need after a long day at school, with healthy alternatives that you choose. Fill it with fruits and other healthy foods.
  4. Plan ahead. Parents who have lunches planned at least a week in advance and have them packed the day before are able to check school lunch stress off their list. And if your child hasn’t learned to match clothing yet, it helps to group clothing sets together. My daughter has zip-lock bags with the day of the week written on the outside of each bag, with matching outfits inside each bag.
  5. Keep a School-Year-Binder in a handy spot, where it's easy to find important papers, like school lunch calendars, the class syllabus, class trip information and permission slips. Use tab dividers to organize papers and make them easier to find.
  6. The family dinner hour is always important, but it takes precedence after school starts. Kids need to know they can rely on a satisfying meal together, with the opportunity to take a deep breath and join in family conversation. Go around the table and have each person name three good things about their day. Kids need this time to be debriefed, share a laugh, and to focus on the positive.
  7. In all the hustle and bustle of school and work, don’t forget your weekly date nights. (Watch for details on our pre-holiday Date Night Stress Buster!) Couple time is important. After all, that’s where it all began!

 

There you have it!  Let's all make back-to-school time a little less stressful.