Mak­ing back to school time less stress­ful for kids

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT -

Sum­mer hol­i­days are al­most over and the kids will soon be go­ing to school. That means you have a big check­list to tick off. Uni­forms, sta­tionery, trans­port - it all needs to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion and it’s com­mon for par­ents, es­pe­cially those of first-timers, to feel over­whelmed and un­der­pre­pared by the time day one rolls around.

Don’t panic; here are a few tips that will make your chil­dren’s back-to-school ex­pe­ri­ence a lit­tle eas­ier:

1. Meet the teacher and scope out the right class­room be­fore the first day of school rolls around. The more pre­pared your child feels be­fore school starts, the more likely they’ll hit the ground run­ning.

2. Sec­ond-hand is good. Kids out-grow just about ev­ery piece of cloth­ing they wear in less than a year, par­tic­u­larly when they’re younger. It makes sense to ex­change old uni­forms

3. Shop the sales. Th­ese days many schools pro­vide the par­ents of their stu­dents with long lists of sta­tionery and other back-toschool para­pher­na­lia that kids must take with them on their first day. Be or­gan­ised and don’t leave kitting out your chil­dren to the last minute.

4. Cre­ate a mini home of­fice. The older your chil­dren get, the more home­work they’re go­ing to be given. Your chil­dren will be more likely to want to do their home­work if they have a pur­pose­built space that’s just for them.

5. Cre­ate a cal­en­dar. It’s not al­ways easy to man­age life when one kid has rugby prac­tice three times a week and a game on Satur­day morn­ing, while an­other has bal­let on Mon­day, Girl Guides on Tues­day, pi­ano lessons on Thurs­day and net­ball on Satur­day af­ter­noon. Main­tain con­trol over your life by keep­ing a close eye on your chil­dren’s sched­ules and mak­ing it vis­i­ble to the whole fam­ily. Have a lot go­ing on? Slot in fam­ily time at least one night a week too.

6. School routes. It’s al­ways a night­mare try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate pre and post-school traf­fic, so think about al­ter­na­tive ways to get your kids to school. Can they walk? Ride their bikes? Take the bus?

7. Treat your kids. Par­ents might re­gard the re­turn of the school term as a knight in shin­ing ar­mour, but that doesn’t mean your chil­dren do. Make a big deal about them the week be­fore they go back to class - par­tic­u­larly if they’re feel­ing un­easy about it; start­ing at a new school, or have never been to school be­fore.

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