At the Y with Stacey Coombs
Preparations for the first day of school are often stressful. The purchase of new school supplies and clothes can be a burden financially, especially if you have multiple children attending school. Another challenge is getting back into the school routine.
The transition back to the classroom can be hard. Getting accustomed to the early mornings can be difficult if your children have slept in all summer. To make the transition as smooth as possible it is wise to start waking your children up a little earlier each day. That way when school starts your children won’t be as tired.
School supplies are expensive and numerous. If you have some existing school supplies left from previous years use them first. You can stock back up on supplies when they go on sale around Labour Day as stores make way for Halloween merchandise.
The same applies for clothing marketed for back to school. Lunches and snacks can also be a stressful component when returning to school. One way to avoid the morning crunch is to prepare lunches and snacks in advance.
Make a two-week meal plan and rotate it. You can prepare all your ingredients on Sunday evening which will make the mornings less stressful. Choose lunch essentials that will keep in the fridge for a week, such as soup, sandwich filling, pasta salads, etc. These are also healthier options than pre-packaged lunch options.
Keeping calm and optimistic sets positive expectations for the school year. You can explain that everyone feels nervous when returning to school and that these feelings are normal. Be sure to also explain that school is an opportunity to meet new friends and learn new things.
As Dr. Seuss said, "children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted."
Stacey Coombs is a membership services representative at the YMCA Association of Cumberland. At the Y appears bi-weekly in The Amherst News.