Prepare to Avoid Back-to-School Stress

Preparation goes a long way in the start of a successful school year

Move aside summer. It’s ‘back to school’ time. Are you ready parents?  To avoid last minute chaos, stress and anxiety, prepare yourself and your children NOW!

1. Talk to your children.

Calmly explain to them that the summertime days of pools, beaches and eating theme park cotton candy with reckless abandon are coming to an end. Allow them to talk about their feelings about returning to school or starting a new one. Encourage independence so they can make proper decisions when you are not around.

2. Take inventory.

Before you venture to the store with your lengthy school supply list, pull out everything you have left over from last year. Chances are you will cut your receipt cost in half.

3. Prepare a study area.

Prepare a study area in a quiet part of the house without any distractions, preferably somewhere close by so you can observe and assist when necessary.

4. Create a “command center” easily accessible for the entire family.

Include a family and school calendar of everyone’s appointments, emergency phone numbers, as well as frequently called phone numbers and school lunch menus. Most importantly, set up a backpack station for each child. That way you have access to check for any homework assignments, notes requiring your signature, permission slips, etc.

5. Introduce routine again.

Practice getting up early, getting dressed and packing a bag. Schedule activities outside of the home, so your child gets used to leaving, rather than laying on the sofa in their pajamas all morning.

6. Practice good hygiene and healthy eating.

If you haven’t already, get your kids into the habit of washing their hands before eating and each time they enter the house. Cook a healthy breakfast each morning. Be sure to include a protein source for optimum brain function and attention. In addition, assure your children’s vaccines are up to date and assure they are in good health.

Your child’s education is paramount, and having an organized plan for them will ease their anxiety and foster self-esteem and independence.

Alison Brigham is the founder and owner of Queens of Clutter, a hands-on, personalized professional organizing service located in Charlotte.