Ah, September. Every year, kids must head back to the classroom and settle into new school year routines. And parents must shepherd the transition by setting (or reinstating) rules, collecting an ever-changing list of school supplies and shopping for all the back-to-school items kids will inevitably need for the year ahead. It’s an exciting time, but also a stressful one for both children and parents. But, with a little preparation, you can help make the season a little bit less chaotic. Here’s a roundup of the best back-to-school resources for parents.
By Johanna Weidner
Key takeaways: Big changes, like starting in a new classroom or school, can trigger short-term emotions and behaviors for kids. But, it makes a big difference when children have someone in their corner who listens. That can be parents, older siblings—and even teachers. With a bit of understanding and patience, those big feelings should eventually normalize.
Awesome tidbit: “Set a bedtime, moving it closer to what it should be for the school year. A screen curfew—a time after which there is no engaging with screens—is also beneficial. Sleep is important for overall mental health for everyone. Setting a wake-up time can also ready students for school.”
By Sammy Hudes
Key takeaways: It’s no secret that back-to-school shopping can be a wallet-buster, especially with prices on the rise. Looking for second-hand clothes on platforms like Poshmark and keeping an eye out for sales and coupons can help cut costs.
Awesome tidbit: “Taking inventory to identify supplies from the last school year that can be reused should be the first step to cutting costs.”
By Kevin Roose
Key takeaways: When ChatGPT first hit the scene, lots of schools had a knee-jerk reaction and tried to completely ban the platform—to little avail. It’s safe to assume that many students will experiment with the technology, so rather than trying to pretend AI doesn’t exist, schools should try to focus on what the technology does well and encourage students to lean into that.
Awesome tidbit: “Treat this year—the first full academic year of the post-ChatGPT era—as a learning experience, and don’t expect to get everything right.”
By Karin A. Bilich and Ilisa Cohen
Key takeaways: Starting preschool can bring a lot of anxiety, since first-time students have absolutely no idea what to expect. It makes a difference to take the time to prepare ahead of the first day of school. Little things like visiting the school and meeting the teacher (if possible) can help younger kids prepare for the big shift.
Awesome tidbit: “Your child will take cues from you, so be calm and confident that everything will go well. You don't want to ask them if they're scared too many times—that might make them even more fearful, says Flynn. But if they seem anxious in the days preceding school, reassure them that everything will be OK and that you're nearby if they need you.”
With a bit of planning, you can help make the back-to-school transition as smooth as possible. Happy studying!
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