Saved By The Bell: Tips For Back-to-School
The end of summer is nigh and people with kids are READY for school to start
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I can start to hear collective sighs of relief as school districts throughout the US throw open their doors and welcome students back for the new school year. From friends who have school-going kids the relief is palpable. Between slapping together some semblance of summer childcare, vacations, and the constant, background hum of bickering (amongst all family members, they add wryly), I’m certainly appreciating that daycare runs all year and all day long.
I’m curious… for those sending kids back-to-school, is it relief you feel? Are you tripping over yourself to get your kid past the school doors? Or is it a little bit more mixed than that? I feel like we paint the narrative that parents (and to some extent kids) can’t wait to go back to school but I’m sure it’s much more complex than that.
If you recall from my previous post (linked below), you know I love back-to-school season so I’ve been happily reading various things to help you navigate this time of year.
💡Many US States have back-to-school shopping tax holidays (basically sales tax-free shopping on school supplies, books, computers, etc.)—unfortunately, some have passed but several are still ongoing or coming up soon.
💡For school-aged children, buy school supplies in bulk that you’ll probably need for school projects (think poster board, markers, gluesticks, etc.) during back-to-school sales so that you get a good deal AND no last-minute urgent trips to the store! (Source: Reddit)
💡Similarly, if you have daycare / preschool-aged children, you’re probably going to be asked to provide family pictures for art projects or show-and-tell, so print out a bunch at the start of the year and it’s one less thing for you to scramble to do later. (Source: Reddit)
Know someone who’s also getting ready for back-to-school season? Maybe these tips will help them! Go ahead and hit the share button.
Managing Kids’ Anxiety Re: Going To School
I’m a huge fan of Dr. Siggie, an Instagram personality with soaring popularity. She’s a child and family therapist who creates content to help parents parent their kids. I went for the parenting tips and stayed for her therapeutic, dulcet voice. Who needs ASMR when you’ve got Dr. Siggie?
Anyway, she’s created a lovely little guide on how to handle the big emotions that come with school drop-offs.
💡Fear Of Trying New Things
A lot of the fear of trying new things is a fear of failure or having perfectionist tendencies. It’s something I personally grapple with. So for kids in your life who display similar qualities, this tip may come in handy: The First Pancake Philosophy. Anyone whose made pancakes knows that the first is always the bad pancake. And it’s usually by the third pancake when you’ve got the level of heat, fat, and time to flip down pat. It’s the perfect analogy to share with kids (while making pancakes of course) to explain how it takes a few tries before things click and we start feeling good about it. (Source: Weird Parenting Wins by Hillary Frank*)
Getting Your Kids To Open Up
💡This tip is courtesy of my mom who professes that it still works on her adult children (can confirm and vouch for its effectiveness): Play a puzzle or puzzle-like game in front of your kids where they can see and guaranteed they’ll venture over and try to help you out with it. As you play together, the conversation will naturally start to flow and pretty soon, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s going on with your kids (and adult children).
💡Another way that seems to have lots of success: backseat chit-chat. There’s something about being contained in a cozy and relatively sterile environment with limited eye contact that allows conversation to be free-flowing and honest. Asking a few questions while you’re driving and they’re tucked safely in the backseat will help get the ball rolling. (Source: Weird Parenting Wins by Hillary Frank*)
💡This one has worked beautifully on the school-aged kids in my life. Ask them a specific question that’s not super general. For example: “What was something funny that happened today?” or “What game did you play on the playground?” I think it’s the fact that these are easy questions to answer and their excitement in answering opens them up to more conversation.
Do you have any other tips and tricks or resources you’d like to share? Please go ahead and drop a comment by hitting the button below.
Also, this is the first time I’ve done a post like this. What did you think? Would you like to see more posts like this?
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*Thank you for using (at no additional cost to you) the affiliate links in this post! :-)