Back-to-school anxiety is normal and understandable. Both kids and adults may worry about the upcoming school year and everything that comes with it. Unfortunately, this can lead to procrastinating until the last moment, causing an incredibly hectic first morning—starting the school year on a stressful, chaotic note. Instead, use these tips to prepare for back-to-school and make sure everything runs smoothly on the first day, and throughout the year.
Create designated areas for supplies. Choose specific locations in your home to store everything relevant to school, such as: your kids’ new outfits, bags, school accessories, and lunch items. Make lunch preparation easier by creating designated spaces in the fridge and pantry for lunch items. You can get storage bins and baskets to help you organize and maximize available space. This method will not only help you and your kids to locate the things they need for the school year, but also get them excited to open and pull everything out the first day of school. Your kids can continue to use these designated areas throughout the year, which will teach them to keep everything organized and ready for each new day.
Routine Reset. Ease back into the school routine by returning to your normal school night bedtime about a week prior to school starting. This way your kids can start to adjust to earlier bedtimes and wake up times. By resetting routines and times at least a week in advance, the adjustment from school vacation to school week won’t feel as disruptive.
Get Your Kids Involved. If your children have a bigger say on back-to-school shopping, it won’t seem like such a chore. Let them decide on the day they want to go and what stores they want to stop at. Set spending limits for items such as clothing, shoes, and backpacks and allow them to pick out what they like best. This will not only get them excited about going back to school, but also teach them great lessons about budgeting and knowing what they really need.
Assure Them They’re Not Alone. If your children are showing signs of anxiety about the new school year, remind them that other students are likely to be just as anxious as they are. Reassure them that their teacher will likely spend time helping students feel more comfortable as they settle into the classroom. You could also arrange some playdates with their classmates to reconnect with old friends or strengthen bonds with new ones.
Conquer the back-to-school whirlwind by planning ahead so everyone in your family feels prepared for the first day. For more help getting ready, check out our Back-To-School Checklists to be sure your kids have everything they need—whether they’re going into elementary school, junior high, high school, or college.