School Day Stress and How to Make It Better

The crazy morning rush before school can be a big headache for everyone. However you can make things better by following these tips for a manageable routine, which you can adjust to your family's needs.

stressed out teenage boy

The night before school

  • Have your child pick out clothes and shoes for the next day. Make sure they are aware of what things are appropriate to wear to school and let them choose.
  • Help your child check their backpack to make sure all homework and supplies are packed. Sign all parent forms, permission slips, etc. and put them in their backpack too.
  • Limit or do not allow screen time.
  • Get your child's help in packing healthy lunches. Label the bag or box and keep it in a visible place in the fridge until the next day.
  • Announce two breakfast options, so that there is no confusion over what is to eat for breakfast the next day.
  • Make sure everyone goes to bed on time.
  • Set your own clock with multiple alarms, just in case.

The school morning

  • If you have many school-age children, set timers for each child's turn in the bathroom to avoid arguments.
  • Call out the time so the kids don't lose track. Have a deadline of things to do within each 10 or 15-minute block. For example, by 6:30 a.m, everyone should be coming down for breakfast. By 6:50 a.m, tying shoes and putting on coats. By 7:00 a.m, walking out the door to the bus stop, etc. You can write this down and put it in a common place for everyone to see until they learn the schedule.
  • When you serve breakfast, make it a habit to place the lunch boxes in the backpacks (so they are not forgotten).

Over the weekend

  • Make sure your child knows homework deadlines for the week ahead.
  • Review the calendar and note any special activities or appointments coming up the next week.

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