How To Take The Stress Out Of The Back To School Season

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The back to school season can feel like yet another undertaking as parents - complete with endless to-do lists and a dark cloud of overwhelm.

It can feel like you’re getting bombarded with all the things your kids *need* and all the things you must *prepare* before the new school year begins. 

A survey by OnePoll, reported in the New York Post, found that 60% of parents are so stressed about the back-to-school season that they lose sleep. Of the 2,000 parents of kids ages 5-18 who were polled, 57% said it is the most stressful time of the year for them.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. And remember – when you’re stressed, that anxious energy rubs off on your kids, making them feel extra concerned about their transition back to school.

Here’s some ways we work to take the stress out of the back to school season –

Communication – talk to your kids about the upcoming school year. Ask them questions about what they are excited about and what they’re concerned about. Talking through their worries can help ease their stress, and yours as well.

Make A Plan – a lot of anxiousness stems from concerns about the *unknown*. Discuss plans for the school year – from what the mornings will look like, to what after-school activities your kids plan to take part in. Understanding what the routine will look like ahead of time can make it easier to transition for both you and your kids. 

Involve Your Kids In The *To-Dos* – one of the top concerns for parents is ensuring their kids eat healthy at school, but many parents feel they don’t have time to prepare lunches. Welcome your kids to help make their own lunch – this gives them the chance to take ownership over it, and also allows you to take one thing off your daily to-do list.

Take Inventory Of Their Wardrobes – we all know that back to school is typically aligned with shopping. Remember that you may already have many of the items (whether it’s clothing or school supplies) at home. Take good inventory of your kids’ school supplies and wardrobe, so you know what you have before you start shopping. This allows you to reduce waste and save money.

Choose Options That Can Be Handed Down – with all the marketing out there today, it can feel like you have to buy so many new clothes for your kids. But remember – styles that are built with comfort and longevity in mind are the best options. When your kids are comfortable, they can think more fluidly and feel more engaged in the learning process. Reach for styles made with natural fibers and always remember to hand them down to younger siblings or friends when your kids outgrow them.

It’s ok to feel a little overwhelmed about the back to school season – that’s totally expected.

But we hope that by trying the above ideas, it can help you and your family reduce the overall stress. Also, these approaches give your family the opportunity to uncover creative ways to navigate this exciting season together, while building a deeper bond with each other. 

Written by: Kestrel Jenkins, responsibility consultant & host of the Conscious Chatter podcast.