The start of the school year brings a sigh of relief to parents across the country. However, heading back to school is also a time of stress and struggle in many households. According to Empowering Parents, these are the back-to-school disasters that parents fear most along with proven solutions that won’t break the bank.
1. Unmotivated Kids
After three months of uninterrupted fun, it’s no surprise that kids aren’t excited to return to school. Unfortunately, this can materialize in kids who lack motivation for learning once at school. When children aren’t self-motivated, parents must find other ways to encourage them to try their best, such as:
Make certain household privileges contingent on effort at school.
Follow Care.com’s recommendation and emphasize the exciting parts of school: seeing friends, participating in extracurriculars, and learning about cool subjects are just a few things that can boost motivation for school.
If a child refuses to go to school, consider whether anxiety is the cause and talk to children about why they don’t want to go.
2. Stressful School Mornings
Transitioning from a relaxed summer schedule to early wake-ups is a struggle for many households. Here’s how parents can make this shift easier:
Start shifting bedtimes earlier 2-4 weeks before school begins. A gentle transition helps kids feel rested when school starts, decreasing the likelihood of morning tantrums.
Create visual reminders of bedtime and morning routines. When routines are well-defined and easy to reference, kids understand what’s expected of them.
Prevent clothing-related disasters by refreshing kids’ wardrobes for the new school year and selecting outfits the night before. Before shopping for clothes, hunt for coupons and deals from budget-friendly stores like Old Navy to save money.
Shut off screens as bedtime approaches and keep smartphones out of bedrooms. Kids may protest, but using electronics late into the night interferes with sleep quality.
Create a cool, comfortable bedroom environment that’s conducive to quality rest. If it’s time for a bedding upgrade, use promo codes and cash back opportunities to save money at department stores like Macy’s.
3. Behavior Problems
Parents do their best to instill good habits in their children, but that’s no guarantee kids will behave at school. Many parents worry their kids will act out in class, bully other students, or become a victim of bullying themselves. Here’s how parents can address such behavioral issues:
Take advantage of back-to-school nights and parent-teacher conferences to meet teachers and address concerns.
Discuss family values, and emphasize the importance of being respectful and kind.
Reward good behavior, using privileges as rewards rather than spending money on gifts. When a bigger reward is appropriate, use Groupon to save on fun experiences the family can enjoy together.
Practice appropriate responses to bullying behavior, like firmly telling the bully to stop, walking away, and asking authority figures for help.
4. Homework Battles
No one likes homework, but it’s an important part of the educational process. When kids don’t view homework the same way, it can result in daily battles. Kids may lie about homework, fail to bring it home, struggle to focus on assignments, or not turn in homework once it’s complete. Here’s how to solve these issues:
Identify the source of the problem, whether procrastination, forgetfulness, hastiness, or another cause. Once parents understand why homework is such a struggle, they can work to fix it through organizational help, checking work, or a reminder that homework is about learning, not getting everything perfect.
Create a dedicated space for homework. An established homework area protects kids from distractions so they can focus. It also ensures everything needed to complete homework is accessible. In addition to a child-sized desk, parents should stock the homework area with school supplies and hunt for coupons that let them save. Further encourage them to use their space by decorating it with kid-friendly artwork. Kohl’s has a great selection, and they’re well known for offering discounts.
All parents want school to be a good experience for their kids. While it’s common for kids to put up a fight at the start of the school year, the right approach can turn their attitude around. When parents use these tips to establish clear expectations and provide positive reinforcement, kids are better equipped to deal with the back-to-school transition.
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