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Parents, Here's How to Prepare Your Child (and Yourself) for Back-to-School

Tips and Tools to Get Ready for a New School Year

For parents and their school-aged children, the back-to-school season is a rollercoaster of emotions. It's exciting! It's stressful! It's everything in between!

If you need some more tips and tools to add to the family's back-to-school survival kit, keep reading. We'll talk about managing the season's shopping frenzy, share some advice about educational tools, tips for navigating social media, and more.

Before you go crazy with to-do lists, take a step back

I know we've talked about the usefulness of lists before , but let's take a breather before carefully documenting everything that needs to be done. Back to school preparations can be stressful, but taking the time to get into a calm, healthy mindset from the beginning will do wonders for everyone's stress levels in the coming weeks.

As you prepare for the school year, don't forget to check in with yourself. If you suddenly realize that these physical signs of stress are all-too-relatable, make time to go for more walks, try deep breathing, or anything else that helps you reduce overwhelm.

Avoiding burnout from back-to-school shopping

We're bombarded with marketing messages every day, and back to school season is no exception. Your kids will see advertising for flashy new backpacks, the latest school supplies, the trendiest clothes, and so much more. To keep things under control:

  • Turn shopping into a teachable moment . Talk about marketing with your kids, including the role marketing messages play in what we think we need to buy.
  • Have a gameplan . Create a shopping list together and stick to it.
  • Articulate boundaries . Make sure your kids know the limits before going to the store. This could mean certain types of clothing are off-limits, for example.

If back-to-school shopping turns into a battle, just remember: Your kids will eventually forget all about that new thing they swear they need, and you aren't a bad parent for enforcing boundaries.

The best learning apps for kids

Most kids today are familiar with technology, and they love their devices. Luckily, you can take advantage of your child's affinity for screens with educational apps and games. Just have a look at this list of 21 free educational apps for kids to find something your own children will enjoy.

Your children and social media

Today's kids seem to be constantly connected, and navigating social media rules within the family can feel like an uphill battle. If you have younger children, monitoring their activity is slightly easier, but teens who crave privacy are another story.

While your teen likely stayed connected throughout the summer, new friends and social groups will bring different dimensions into their social media use. The following resources can help you work through some of the most common issues that arise:

Teens, Social Media, and Depression

How Social Media Affects Your Teen

Sexting - Empower Teens to Make Better Choices

It's not easy to get back-to-school ready, but with a clear head, a game plan, and regular communication, everyone can enjoy another successful year.