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Back-to-school season is a busy time for many families as they try to get used to a new schedule and more responsibilities. For parents, it’s often a crash course in how to respond to stress, as each new day seems to bring with it a new problem. Particularly in families with more than one child, it can seem as though sending the kids off to school is one issue after another, from finding money to pay for supplies and clothing to ensure they get a good breakfast and lunch every day.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can handle back-to-school disasters that won’t break the bank. Think about what your family needs during a school year, from organization to a routine, and start creating easy ways to make it happen. Being prepared will allow you to reduce stress as you go, meaning you won’t feel overwhelmed when an unexpected issue arises.
Read on for some great tips on how to get started.
Keep Clothing Costs Down
Kids can be rough on clothes and shoes, so it’s important to find efficient ways to keep them looking nice without spending a ton. To keep school clothes in decent shape, ask your kids to change into comfy clothes when they get home. Then it won’t matter if they spill spaghetti sauce on their shirt or if they get ink on their pants. When shopping for clothing, look at major retailers like Old Navy. You can find discounts and cash back offers that help you stretch your dollars.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to write your children’s names in their clothes too, just in case they have a habit of leaving sweatshirts and jackets at school.
Make Sure Everyone Gets Good Sleep
Rest can be elusive for kids during the first couple of weeks of school, either because they’re excited or anxious about the coming school year or because they’ve been used to staying up late on summer nights. Getting your child into healthy habits early will help them enter into the new year well-rested and happy and help prevent meltdowns and exhaustion, so enforce a bedtime at least a week or two before school even starts that will help them get enough sleep.
It helps if everyone’s bedroom is sleep-friendly too. That includes making sure bedding is comfy, the mattress isn’t falling apart and that you have a solid bedtime routine in place. If a new mattress, linens, or pillows are needed, scope out deals online at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond for discounts and coupon codes that will help you save money.
Pro tip: Save even more money on bed linens in January when white sales are in full effect.
Set Homework Rules
Every child needs a little structure when it comes to homework. Set some rules for everyone about when and where they are to get their work done, and make sure they don’t have any distractions while they’re doing it. If they can get into the habit of doing it every day at the same time, it will make things much easier on them for the rest of the year. You can create a space for your kids to do their homework without distraction by choosing a spot away from the traffic of the rest of the house and adding good lighting and a comfy chair. These updates don’t have to cost a lot of money either. If you’re looking to purchase furniture for your kids, check out sales and look for coupons at retailers like Target or Walmart. Another way to save is to shop on Ebay and use ebay promotional codes.
Pro tip: Keep a special calendar handy that shows what homework or projects are due and when. Then you and your kids will always know what to expect without any last-minute surprises.
Motivate Your Kids
Many kids have trouble staying motivated to get up early every day once the excitement of the new school year wears off a little. Help your child stay positive and eager to learn by looking for small, cost-efficient privileges, such as allowing him to play a video game before school if he gets up on time and gets ready immediately.
Pro tip: Find an activity that you can do as a family that your child is eager to look forward to. A planned outing can be the culminate of several weeks of steady positive behavior.
Handling back-to-school issues can be extremely stressful for parents; you have enough to deal with at work and home without more anxiety! Staying organized and creating a good plan for the school year ahead of time will help you and your family remain even keel as you navigate a new schedule and routine. Talk to your loved ones about how they can help make the mornings easier and what the plan will be when it comes to getting through the week without a hitch.