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It’s the little things sometimes that make or break us. Here are some ideas for making going back-to-school easier:

  1. Lock up all electronic devices one hour before your kids’ bedtime.
    Turn off the TV. Stop looking at any lighted screen. Get ready for bed and wind down. This goes for everybody in the house! You need your rest!
  2. Do not let your children sign up for too many activities.
    No one can keep up with all of that! Don’t feel like a bad parent who is depriving your children of experiences and opportunities! You are a thoughtful parent who is protecting your children’s mental health, and allowing them time to reflect and have some self-directed activities! Einstein didn’t have a whirlwind schedule as a child. He had a mother who let him dump flour on the floor and sift it through his hands…FOR HOURS.
  3. Do not buy back to school clothes.
    Your children are already wearing clothes (I am assuming I know). They will also grow during the year and need different clothes. Take advantage of some sales if you like, but don’t buy too much. It will just end up making laundry a complete nightmare.
  4. Have each child create a “tomorrow drawer.”
    This is an easy drawer to pull out – not one that sticks, or is too high or low for them to easily access. In this drawer, your child can collect everything s(he) wants for the next day – clothes, stuff for show and tell, etc. You may have to clean out some stuff to get an empty drawer, but that will only help you. This is an easy way for kids to lay out their clothes the night before, and besides, the tomorrow drawer has a certain glamor.
  5. Clean out backpacks every Friday.
    You can also designate Friday as clean out your purse day and clean out the car day. Do not assume your children are going to keep up with their backpacks. It’s always fun to stick your hand in there and run smack into a melted peanut butter sandwich which is stuck to the homework they “lost”. If your child has a particular resistance to putting his/her hands into a backpack, think about getting a messenger bag instead.

[Tweet “[Tweet “Einstein didn’t have a whirlwind schedule as a child. He had a mother who let him dump flour on the floor and sift it through his hands…FOR HOURS.”]

Finally, get rid of as much stuff as you can before school starts, like clothes that don’t fit anymore or are just taking up space, old toys and crayons, etc.  Make room for all the new stuff they will bring home from school! Which brings me the last hack — what do you do with all those school papers? If you must keep them, choose only a few per school year. Put the rest into a big brown envelope and mail them to grandparents and relatives!