Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back-to-School Parenting Supplies

Everyone's talking about the new school year starting soon. Most of Maryland goes back on Monday, and the kids are probably pretty well stocked-up on supplies. The question is - are the parents prepared?

My figurative pencil case of parenting school-age kids includes:

Contacts - Chat with family, friends, and neighbors about backing each other up for emergency school pick-ups, car pool plans, and those oh-my-goodness-I'm-late-for-the-bus moments.

Structure and routine - Think about last year. What worked? What made you crazy? Where do you keep the backpacks and lunch boxes? Where do the kids do their homework? Do they do it right after school, or do they play first? (Make sure they play everyday. They don't get to do much of that at school.)

Snacks - Those little cherubs come home hungry during the first weeks of school.

Bandwith - Those little cherubs also come home decidedly less than angelic sometimes, too. Cranky, Tired, and Pouty might tumble down those bus steps. Hyper, Chatty, and Loud might, too. Do whatever you have to do to be present with them. Feed, rest, exercise, and rest yourself well to have the emotional bandwith to steadily handle however the kids present themselves. I promise, you'll all enjoy each other and those hours until bedtime a lot more.

Communications - You probably already sign up for school emails and weather-related text alerts. Did you know you can also follow your school, school system, and Superintendent on Facebook and Twitter? These accounts let schools and systems easily share the little bits of awesomeness that happen every day but usually don't make the weekly newsletter cut. In some cases, you can even have a conversation with the school or system, making the media truly social. Be sure to get these hot new items for parents heading back to school!

Parents, what else would you include in your back-to-school prep?
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