Here are a few back-to-school tips to squash the stress before it gets the best of you.
Get organized by visiting the school and meeting teachers. Most preschools and elementary schools, and some middle schools, offer this to parents. It is the perfect opportunity to ask a few questions — like what to do about a school planner, rules on bullies and sick days, etc.
Grab an extra school supply list. Parents can just pick them up as they enter various stores. Hold off buying anything until after you meet the teacher. Show the list to him or her and ask if there are any additions or eliminations, then change it accordingly.
Get the teacher’s email address. This is how most schools communicate in nowadays. Also, ask for a contact number. These come in handy when you have questions.
Take a trial run at getting up early at least five days before school. This helps with solidifying the new schedule and is proven to help prevent cranky kids.
Practice bus-stop routes and bus-stop etiquette. If your child is not at least in the fourth grade, you may want to stay there with them, if possible, until the bus comes. After the age of 10, they won’t want you there, so train well up to that age. Never leave your child at the bus stop alone. If there is a known bully, stick around — but not right by — your child or he will get teased and picked on.
If you take your child to school for an early arrival program for working parents, make sure you get to meet the director of this program and ask for typed rules. Go over them with a fine-toothed comb so you will know exactly what to expect: arrival time, meals served, activities and exceptions to rules (must go five days a week or lose spot in the program?).
Make sure you get a student handbook before school. If your school does not offer this until after school starts, call and ask about the dress codes. Usually schools hand out a student handbook and ask for students and parents to read it. Many have to sign a slip of paper indicating they have done so.
Make plans for a tutor right away. If you know your child will need a tutor, ask the teacher if they are available for tutoring. If they don’t offer tutoring, ask for recommendations. Don’t wait until your child is failing and everyone is taken.
Get your car-pool team together now! Most schools will help with this. Some actually have a list of parents who want to car pool listed by zip code and phone number.
Get all immunizations caught up. Did you know the school could legally keep your child’s report card until his shots are up to date? Call the school and get a copy of the current list if the school did not mail you one.
Avoid the drive-thru dinners. Too busy with the kids and life to worry about a home-cooked meal every night? Let the Ronco Ready Grill take the stress off. This new way of cooking is changing the way people think about meal prep. By simply loading the grill basket with some seasoned protein and veggies, you can have a delicious meal on your table in less that 20 minutes!