Survive and Thrive: 7 Simple Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Updated by Guest Contributor

The lazy days of summer are drifting to an end, and the dawn of a new school year is peeking over the horizon. With it comes excitement, anxiety, and, for busy parents, a new set of challenges.

Educators often say that for students, returning to school after three months of vacation is like trying to run a marathon after lying on the couch all summer. And for good reason: Not only are kids unaccustomed to the daily school routine, but their eating and sleeping schedules have likely shifted over the summer. Plus, they face emotional challenges like the back-to-school night jitters, learning to trust a new teacher, making new friends, completing challenging schoolwork, and transitioning from elementary school to the new environment of middle school. And if they're learning from home this fall, that comes with its own challenges .

So, parents, you’ve got a lot on your plates. But never fear. By planning ahead (and pat yourself on the back! By reading this article, you’re on the right track) and finding a way to automate simple tasks, you’ll ace the school year ahead – and your kiddos will, too.

Back-to-School Tips for Parents

1. Shape up your schedule

The first step to being back-to-school savvy is to remember that your kids aren’t the only ones shifting their schedules – yours will be affected, too, especially your morning routine and mid-afternoon.

Transition your kids back to “school bedtime” about two weeks ahead of the first day of school. This helps guarantee their success on their first day, and also helps your entire family get back into the zone. Remember, you’ll need the extra sleep and energy, too, to bundle them off to school successfully each morning before you start your day. (Bonus: Check out the Sleep Foundation’s tips for great back-to-school sleeping habits .)

Ready to win the back-to-school season? Take a breath, make a plan, and restock those school supplies – you’ve got this.

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