Back to school can be a stressful time, as we found out as part of a survey of 1,000 parents across the country. We discovered that both parents and their children have their worries at this time of the year, whether the kids are lacking motivation or the parents are feeling unprepared.
As part of our research we also asked parents what they do to ease their kids into school after the long break. There were some great suggestions, but the following made the top of the list.
Plan friends to visit during the holidays
Having your child’s friends come over can help rebuild those valuable social ties that could be weakened during the summer holidays, which is why it was the most popular back to school ritual for 37% of parents.
Decorate school supplies
One of the most popular methods to relieve those back to school stresses was allowing children to decorate their stationery, with 26% of parents doing this. This is a great idea that you can help them with – taking a notebook and covering it in wrapping paper to brighten it up, or using a jam jar and decorative washi tape to craft an eye-catching pen holder can be a fun way to get them excited for their return back to school. This is also a good time to assess whether your child has all the right equipment for the coming term.
Plan a fun routine
Breaking the summer habits and creating an exciting routine for kids came third on the list for 22% of parents. Children can find returning to a structured day difficult, so bring some fun into the mix. Pop a note in their lunchbox with a joke or a picture of their favourite TV character, or create incentives such as coupons they can cash in for a treat when they’ve got ready for school early or have completed their homework on time.
Give them goodies for the first day
The first day of school can be hard on both parents and kids, which is why 20% of parents give treats to their child on their first day back. Rather than giving them sweets, why not try a healthy snack instead, like these spiced apple crisps? Not only can this get them excited to go back to school, but they can share with their friends too.
Make a special breakfast
Last on our top five list is the special breakfast, which 13% of parents like to prepare for their kids on their first day back. If they usually have cereal, you could try making a stack of fruit pancakes, or maybe some banana-topped sticky buns – this will help motivate them to get up in the morning and get ready on time.
Back to school doesn’t have to be stressful if you get creative with your kids. By setting up new, fun routines and giving them reasons to associate going back to school with fun, life will be much easier come the end of the holidays.