10 tips to help you and your kids prepare for going back to school

Back to school can be very stressful for kids and parents
Back to school can be very stressful for kids and parents

As the last weekend of the summer holidays approaches here are our top tips to make sure that you and your children are ready for the start of the new school year.

1. Uniforms

Try on all last years uniforms/school gear and ditch or donate and replace – and don’t forget shoes and football boots!

2. School Books

If you haven’t done it yet there is still time; most local bookshops will have your schools booklists or if you are more of an online baby try Easons who still have 10% off or School Books.ie who have 12.5% off or free covering. Check delivery times and don't leave it too late.

3. Sleep

Yes, the one thing that makes everyones lives easier; to avoid having the kids back in school bleary eyed start moving bedtime and waking times back to normal now and the first few days wont go by in a haze of tiredness and tantrums.

4. Lunches

Have a chat with the kids about what they would like in their lunches. Sandwiches are always a great failsafe, easy and convenient,  but consider carrot sticks, cucumber, slices of pepper, cheese, a handful of nuts as snacks. When it gets cold and wintry, probably in September, try something warm in a food flask such as soup or pasta. HomeStore and More have reasonably priced flasks that they will deliver to your door!

5. Calendar

Get the schools calendar, sit down with a coffee and put all of the dates into your phone and work calendar. You will be glad you did when there is a random half day off school in October.

6. After School Activities

Talk to your kids about what they want to do but be tough. Are you wasting your money and their time on gymnastics, piano lessons, ballet or martial arts?  What skill or activity would your child love to develop or would you want them to have? What is available in your area? What can you fit into your schedule? What can you afford?

7. Homework

Think about what worked and didn’t work last year and create a plan with the kids for after school. Having a routine that everyone is familiar with will save the inevitable argument on the first day.

8. Emotions

Kids going back to school will be a bagful of emotions – some excited, some nervous, some anxious and scared. Acknowledge how they feel and let them know that there are others who are just like them.  It can be quite overwhelming to start school again and can take some kids time to readjust; give them time to get used to their new routine and teacher and try not react to some slight behavioral issues during the first couple of weeks.

9. Positive Thinking

Try to get into the habit of getting your kids to tell you three good things that happened to them that day. Try to avoid what did you do that day but rather get them to discuss what was good about their day. It is very affirming but can also give you great insights when things might be going wrong.

10. Last minute fun

If you can, try to take some time out just to go for a walk, a cycle or for an icecream with your kids this weekend. Relish the last days of the summer – take some pictures, tell your child how special they are, cherish the moment and start planning next summers fun.

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