Back-to-school tips for parents

Alixandra Caole Vila - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The hustle and bustle of preparing your kids for school is here. It is again the month of June and this means the start of another school year. The malls are once again mobbed with anxious parents and excited kids checking out the school bags, notebooks, and pencils on the department store, which used to be filled with bathing suits, swimming trunks, and board shorts.

Back-to-school stress takes a toll on you, as well as your child.  Follow these tips and discover how you can survive this nerve-wracking, yet exciting time of year.

Start smart by planning ahead. According to Dr. Gail Gross, a family and child doctor expert, children take their cue from their parents. If parents are calm, reassuring, optimistic and supportive, children will feel both confident and competent. 

Before rushing into the shop and buying all the school stuff that your child needs, ensure that all the papers needed for the enrollment were all processed properly and completely.  It is also important to make sure that the school has updated information regarding your address and phone numbers in case of emergencies.

When it comes to shopping for school supplies, make sure that you have a list of all the things your children need to avoid forgetting anything and then coming back later to buy it. This will save you some money and time. Also, try to shop for school supplies as early as possible. Most school supplies do not go out of style. If you are on a tight budget, you may re-use the old school supplies like pencils, papers, erasers, sharpeners, etc. 

Children often have a difficult time making the back-to-school transition. As parents, it is your responsibility to take the lead and not burden your child with his or her own worries. Remind them that everyone feels a little bit nervous and it is going to be okay. Talk to them and listen to their fears. Get your child on schedule by assigning time to do their homework, going to bed, eating breakfast, and taking showers.  Beuermann-King, a stress and wellness expert from Canada recommends getting your children involved in making the schedule. "Having your kids decide on the routine will be less frustrating than you telling them that they have a certain amount of time in the morning or that they have to get their homework done as soon as they come home," she says.

These preparations before the big day can go a long way in moderating your child's transition back to school. Above all the aforementioned tips, bear in mind that your child's comfortableness is the most essential of all, because a stress-free child means stress-free parents as well.

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