A Few Little Tips For Those Back to School Nerves (for Parents) – with help from @PlanetBox and @MissionBeltCo

kindergarten ready

Everyone has been getting ready for back-to-school week, and today, the day that we’ve all been anticipating is upon us.  For some of you, it’s already a routine that you’re used to – you’ve been down this road before. For my five-year-old (and his parents), this is a whole new journey that we are about to embark on. While my child has been in daycare and preschool up until now, kindergarten seems like a milestone that he is better prepared for then I am.

Soon it will be all about meal planning, dress codes, school supply lists and scheduling for me. For my son it will all be about social calendars, friends and homework. There is only so much I can do to prepare for this year and the excitement of his first day of kindergarten has been giving ME butterflies!  I knew this day would come, but what I didn’t expect was that I would be even more nervous than my child. He is beginning his new elementary education with such enthusiasm, security and excitement while I stand by hoping he never loses his confidence and strong sense of self .

I’ll admit, I’m a list person and I often make checklists to ease my nerves and to help accomplish many of the things that I need to get done. So, I’ve made a list of things to do for parents, like myself, who are experiencing the back to school phenomenon for the first time this year.

1. See if you can get most of your supplies prior to the first day of school – our school district was nice enough to give us an order form in the beginning of the summer that literally gives parents the option to order all of the required school supplies and have them ready in the classrooms by the first day. As a first-time parent in our school system, I found this to be incredibly helpful as school supply shopping can be extremely overwhelming (even for returning students). It is also an additional stress-or that you can try and avoid before the first day jitters arrive.

2. Help your child get excited for their first year of grade school – whether it be with a new haircut, new backpack, or simply reading books about the excitement of entering kindergarten, help your child ease into this transition by showing them that it’s going to be great. Don’t ever let them see how nervous YOU may be, as this milestone is likely worth the excitement. We read books about kindergarten almost every night, in preparation for the first day and we let our son pick out his new backpack and got him a new pair of sneakers in anticipation for an exciting day (and year) ahead.

!st day luch
1st day of school lunch

3. Begin testing out portable food options and get a versatile (and easily transportable) lunchbox for your child – I recommend something durable like a PlanetBox, which my entire family loves. (See full review from last year here). The PlanetBox is sturdy, versatile, dishwasher-safe and low maintenance option for you child.  It allows for so many different options for food ideas that all of your kids will love. This year we discovered that PlanetBox also has a water bottle (BottleRocket) that fits perfectly in the included carrying case. My son also got to choose magnets for his lunchbox that will personalize his PlanetBox and make a unique conversation piece at lunchtime. I am honestly looking forward to all of the creative meals I plan to prepare for his year in kindergarten.

4. Go to any open houses or meet the teacher events that the school offers – It’s amazing to think of how many parents I’ve met who are also first-time parents in our school system this year. It is always nice to know you’re not alone and these events will often provide you the resources that you need to navigate through any concerns you may have throughout the year. Look out for parent groups like PTOs or HSAs that look to parents for involvement in school related activities as these will also keep you in the loop with the on-goings of your school.

5. Dress to impress but remain realistic – We all want our children to look their best at school, but keep in mind, they are still kids (and if there anything like my boys there will be holes in their pants and scrapes on their knees in no time). Send them to school in clothes that look presentable but won’t break your heart if it they get dirty or ruined. My son is very lean and pants often fall down on him. With that, I find that sending him with a durable and sturdy belt such as the new Mission Belt, will not only solve the pants problem but look good too.  As seen on Shark Tank, the Mission Belt is a smart option because it’s trendy, colorful, hole-less, and can be adjustable to fit even the slimmest of waistlines. (Full review to follow).

 

6. Get your camera ready! – Be prepared to take those cheesy first day of school shots while your child holds his or her sign in front of him. Yes, they are cliché and yes, your Facebook feed will be full of them but you don’t want to miss out on capturing this memorable moment in your child’s life.

 

7. Pat yourself on the back. You did it! You’ve successfully made it through the first five years. While there are many more milestones to come, this one is a big one and you should be proud of who your child has become in the last five years. Remember, they wouldn’t be who they are and where they are if it weren’t for all that you’ve done. As you watch your child walk up those elementary school stairs, look around and you will see you are not alone. Many of those moms are trying to fight back the tears just as much as you – and those are the women that you should go home and have a glass of wine with.

 

(disclosure: To alleviate some of our back to school nerves, my son received a complimentary PlanetBox Launch and Mission Belt for review.  No other compensation was involved.  We wish you all lots of back-to-school success and as always, all opinions expressed here are my very own.)