If back-to-school feels like back-to-stress for your family, hey, right there with you. Fortunately, there’s no need to fret when you can live and learn from our 11 top-of-the-class tips instead.

 

Prioritize together time.

After more family time over the summer — on vacations, staying up late with you – it can be tough for kids to go back to not seeing you as much. Earmark special time with them daily (even if it’s only five minutes!).

 

Get into healthy habits.

Give your child a chance to recharge by putting them to bed on time, offering them healthy choices at meals, and getting them outside to play every day.

 

Plan play dates with school friends.

Seeing buddies from school after hours strengthens those friendships and makes kids look forward to even more fun together back at school.

 

Set a schedule.

Kids love to know what to expect. Create a daily schedule of what they’ll be doing: What time will they go to school? When will you pick them up? What will they be doing after school? What time will they go to bed? Then post it somewhere they can see it.

 

Get your morning routine down.

Have your child lay out their clothes and pack their backpack with lunch, snack, and any supplies the night before. And post a morning routine chart to help the next day go more smoothly. Finally, leave extra time to get to school a little early — the last thing you need is added stress over being late.

 

Figure out your goodbye ritual.

Whether it’s making up a secret handshake or coming up with your own just-between-you saying, having a farewell ritual makes drop-off special — and gives both you and your child a clear signal that it’s time to part ways for a while.

 

Do your homework while they do theirs.

The return to homework can be stressful for some kids. When your kid pulls out the worksheets, sit down with them and pay bills, plan a presentation for an upcoming meeting, whatever — working together makes it more fun.

 

Talk to their teacher.

The teacher may have some helpful intel about what’s going on at school. Or they may not realize your kid is struggling and can start giving your kiddo the extra attention they need at school right now. Either way, you want them on your team.

 

Volunteer in the classroom.

Letting your child know they’ll see you later at school makes morning goodbyes easier.

 

Read books about going to school.

Whether it’s Llama Llama Misses Mama or School Days According to Humphrey, books about school show kids that they’re not the only ones who have a hard time being a student sometimes. Reading to your kid also gives them an opportunity to bring up what might really be bothering them (fear of having an accident before they can make it to the bathroom? teacher’s aide yelling at them? other kids excluding them?)

 

Let them bring something from home along.

Take a photo of the family — plus one of their lovey if you’re worried it might get lost at school – and put it in their cubby. You can even tuck your pillowcase or one of your T-shirts in their backpack; the sight and smell of something of yours will feel comforting when you’re not around.

 

The Q-Time Buddy is a soft, weighted stuffed animal that can help your kid build focus and attention with a gentle breathing exercise. Try it first thing in the morning to help your kid de-stress and set the tone for their day!