By now, you know the drill…you’re a seasoned parent who has traveled this road before. Gone are the days when you eagerly await to hear what teacher your child has, where your bus stop will be and how many glue sticks are on the school supplies shopping list. Your tween is likely in upper grade school or maybe even starting middle school. The stakes are higher, both academically and socially, and your child is feeling it. The tension in your home is palpable, and emotions are running high. Back to school is a big deal to a tween, but most would never know it since they act like they don’t care. But us moms, we know better. We know the days that lie ahead are important and we desperately want to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips that may help:
S – Selfie. Try putting away the cute little chalkboard with your child’s grade written on it. No more staging the seemingly perfect photo of our kid on the front doorstep of your home. Give your kid your phone and let them document the first day of school with a selfie. They will be 10 times more cooperative, trust me. One bonus with a selfie? You don’t have to worry about your kid doing a spontaneous “dab” if they are holding a phone.
C – Clothes. The first day of school outfit is as important to a tween as a Halloween costume is to a 5-year-old. If you have a girl, chances are she has been dreaming of the perfect outfit for a couple weeks now. If you have a boy, all he wants is an Under Armour T-shirt to wear with a pair of sport shorts and some Nike slides. Never underestimate the power of the back to school outfit so plan accordingly.
H – Homework. Do not wait for a letter to arrive from your child’s teacher stating she has a new “no homework” policy this year like the lucky parents received in one Texas town. Your kid will have homework this year, and probably a lot of it. One way to entice them is to dedicate a comfortable and creative space known as a”homework station”. A bright and cheery location, free of clutter and stocked with fun office supplies will make it all the more inviting and less distracting for your tween to get the job done.
O – Organization. One of the keys to your child’s success in school is keeping track of all the assignments, tests and projects. A calendar or student planner is an essential tool at this age. Some schools provide them which makes this task nice and streamlined. If your child has an electronic device (and is encouraged to use it at school) trying downloading a student planner app to help coordinate deadlines. Sunday night is a good time to plan for the week ahead.
O – On time. If your tween is in middle school, they probably have a sophisticated schedule of classes to follow. It can be difficult to figure out the intricate timing of getting to different classes, which books to carry with you and when its necessary to go back to your locker. Add getting to gym with ample time to change into your swimsuit before you have to report to the pool, and you have a recipe for potential disaster on your hands. Take time before school starts to walk through what a typical day will look like, preferably at the school. Make a mini pocket schedule with the location of each class, their locker combo, bus number and any other important details they may need to remember.