Back to school / Tips for a stress free back to school season
And just like that, it is time for another school year to commence. Whether your child is back in person or still virtually learning, we know that family organization is key for a stress-free back to school season. Here are 6 back to school tips to help your kids (and you) get into the swing of things. Let’s reduce anxiety and increase organization together!
Before we get to the tips, let’s define organization. While many think of planners, pens, and Post-It notes, according to Merriam-Webster, organization can also be making arrangements, preparations, and coordinating. There are definite things we can do to create order for our family around the school year, but don’t forget to prepare your family in ways that aren’t so visible too. That being said, here’s our top 6 tips for reducing stress and anxiety in your back to school routine.
- Practice Makes Perfect. Okay it may not make perfection, but it will make it easier! Try to have a run-through day with your kids as to what a school day will look like. From wake-up times, to grabbing their backpack, eating lunch at a certain time, and even saying goodbye, going through the motions will ease anxiety and hopefully make your mornings and their days better.
- Create a Schedule. Don’t just make it, but post it where everyone can see and then review it with your family. Sure you might have to remind them or go over it several times, but it will eventually stick and they will get used to it. This can have everything from designated study sessions to extra curricular activities on it. We like to have a basic skeleton to follow so the basics are the same and then change it as needed. Make sure to go over it Sunday before the week begins, and nightly so everyone knows what to expect the next day. If you have a Hearth Display, you and your kids can review it very easily. You may even catch them doing it themselves thanks to the fun and easy touch-screen nature!
- Rest in Rituals. Yes, these are different from schedules. Create habits with your kids that also reduce anxiety and stress. This can be as simple as choosing their outfit the night before or doing a backpack / homework check before placing it by the door. It can also be more fun and around establishing traditions like grabbing ice cream after meet the teacher or “back to school banana french toast” that they only get on the first day of school. These things help establish norms they can count on in an ever changing, somewhat scary environment that is known as the first day of school.
- Build Excitement. If a child is looking forward to something, they are less likely to be stressed, leaving one less thing for you as a parent to be anxious about. Whether it is something small like picking out a special school supply or grabbing new sneakers, help your child make the most of the new school year. It doesn’t have to be monetarily based though. Maybe schedule a playdate with a friend, and center it around being able to eat lunch with your friends at school versus just with mom at the kitchen table. Sure these things don’t necessarily lead to ultimate organization, but when a kid wants to do something, it is a lot easier to convince them to be organized.
- Give Everything a Place. When you’re creating your schedules and rituals, try to incorporate everyday items and where they will “live”. We’ve all had those mornings where you can’t find the folder, the backpack, or the tennis shoes. Chaos ensues and meltdowns occur. While these things might still happen, by saying “backpacks go by the garage door” or “sneakers on the shoe mat”, this will hopefully establish a habit, making your life a lot easier and more organized!
- Read More. This is good for brain development of course, but also for life implementation. We love a good book and there are so many that can help kids get used to and even excited about the idea of school. From First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg to Sorry, Grown Ups You Can’t Go to School by Christina Geist, there is something for every situation. If you like literature application and want more, check out our post on 5 books for establishing daily routines with your kids.
Bonus: Place a secret note in your child’s lunch box or backpack, to let them know you’re thinking of them during the day. This can put a smile on their face and ease anxiety that might come up.
We hope these tips help with your back to school routine and increase organization (and happiness!) around your household. All of these ideas should not only help your kids daily, but also as they grow into young adults and establish healthy habits of their own.