Back-to-school: it’s anticipated by parents and dreaded by kids. If your kids are anxious about leaving behind the play-filled days of summer, you can take steps to smooth the transition. With these essentials, your kids can start the year feeling confident and enthusiastic.
Create a Gradual Transition
After months of late bedtimes and flexible days, kids often have trouble adjusting to a strict school schedule. According to Great! Schools, you can make the process easier on your little ones — and yourself — with a gradual transition. Three weeks before the first day, move bedtime up by five or ten minutes. Every few days, start getting ready for bed a little earlier, until your kids reach their school-year bedtime. Start serving snacks and lunch on the school schedule, and encourage kids to wake up earlier in the morning. A gradual process helps avoid fights, and the slow shift ensures that your children are rested and fresh on their first day.
Send Them to School in Style
Back-to-school style is crucial, no matter how young the child. New clothing and accessories can help your little one feel comfortable and confident during the first nerve-wracking days of school. For children who are reluctant to leave summer behind, new accessories create a sense of excitement and anticipation for the year to come.
A backpack is the most important back-to-school accessory. Choose a kid-sized backpack with ample room for books and comfortable padded straps to reduce pressure on little shoulders. Amp up the fun with a matching lunch box with plenty of space for snacks and a healthy meal. Help your child look forward to the first day by choosing backpacks and lunch boxes in wild patterns or bright colors.
Set Up a Space to Relax
The first few weeks of school can be stressful, particularly for kids who are anxious about schoolwork or making new friends. Ease the transition by creating a kid-friendly place to relax. Start with a soft beanbag chair to provide instant comfort and security after a long day. Give your child ownership over the space — and head off seat-saving battles between siblings — with a monogrammable bean bag cover. Select a color and style that matches your child’s personality, and pair it with a matching rug and a stack of favorite toys and books. After school, your little ones can head right to their special spot and unwind with a book or a favorite TV show.
Make Getting Ready for Bed Something to Look Forward To
Make it easier for kids to switch to school-year bedtimes by injecting fun and comfort into the end-of-day routine. Before the first day of school, surprise your child with a personalized robe in their favorite color. Keep the robe as a special, bedtime-only treat; your child can layer it over pajamas. For an extra element of fun, purchase similar robes for Mom and Dad to help little ones feel more grown up. On tough nights, the robes can smooth out the process of getting ready for bed.
Don’t Forget About Yourself
The beginning of the school year is stressful for parents, too. In the middle of the getting-ready chaos and the morning drop-off, the last thing you need to worry about is pants that pinch or a shirt that restricts movement. Choose soft, flexible clothing to streamline your back-to-school routine: yoga pants, athleisure clothing and French terry loungewear are all comfortable options. Look for pieces that are flattering without being too tight, and you’ll look and feel great on the way to the bus stop or at afternoon pick-up.