Upon reflection I now realize that getting my kids ready for back to school when they were younger was a snap. As their benevolent dictator, er, I mean mom, I was able to manage the transition from summer mayhem to school schedules with relative ease because frankly, I ruled the roost back then. I naïvely thought it would always be so.
Somewhere around age ten though the clothes I picked out, and the supplies I came home with were immediately rejected as not cool. Coincidentally, this was EXACTLY when I lost my coolness in their eyes too. They started to voice opinions (the nerve!) and suddenly asking them to go to bed earlier in the summer so they could get back on a schedule was met with rolling eyes. I could feel my iron tight grip on the situation slipping through my fingers. Obviously I had to get over my control issues and let them figure out back to school on their own, with a little covert guidance from me of course. Here’s how we do back to school now.
Write It Down – Dreams, Goals, To-Dos
After two months of sleepovers, camping, and summer travel, teens and tweens heads are firmly in the clouds. This is a great time to kick it old school and hand over paper and pencil and get their creative juices flowing. Help your kid get in the right frame of mind by encouraging them to write, scribble or draw theirs. Hilroy knows this too, that’s why their YouTube channel features all kinds of stories, demos and did-you-know’s to inspire our dreamers.
Once you’ve encouraged them to dream big, plant them back on terra firma by asking them to write down what goals they need to achieve to meet their dreams, and then to break it down with to-dos to reach their goals.
There is nothing worse than tired kids at school and thankfully we’ve emphasized how important sleep is at every stage of their life in our house. That being said, September is always hard because teens can be notoriously muley. I can start telling them a week or two before school starts that waking up at 9 am will no longer be an option soon but until that day actually arrives they don’t care. And you know what, neither should you.
At this age you have to let them jump in the hard way; a few tired mornings and they’ll be back on schedule.
Accountability and Organization
I like to call this category the school of hard knocks. No, I don’t know what time your bus is. Actually, I have not seen your lock from last year. Sorry, I haven’t got a clue what you’re going to pack yourself for lunch.
Teens are in an very interesting time of their lives right now. On the one hand, they will insist they are capable of doing things on their own but on the other, they’d like you to take care of those tedious things like lunches and getting organized. Don’t fall for it mama, or you’ll be packing their lunch in college. A little tough love now will save you years of aggravation later.
The only thing you should be helping them with here is giving them the tools they need for success. Arm your teens with a daytimer and make sure they know how to use it. This is a life skill they will use forever. A great organizer should have a place to organize their month at a glance, a place to schedule each day and a place for notes.
Let Them Pick their Own Supplies
There was a time I would hit the stores armed with a list and I’d get everything my child needed for the school year. Once Junior High started, the lists ceased to come home and the kids were left to choose what worked best for them to stay organized. My input was not only needed but like, totally not wanted. According to my teen, I have no idea what it’s like to go to school. Sigh.
Despite their beliefs I do remember quite well and I agree with them. Just like I look for pretty colours and supplies for my desk at home, my girls want supplies that speak to them. Bright colours in exercise books, pencil cases and notebooks helps keep them inspired and this year they are all over these on trend Colouring Exercise Books and binder.
I do take comfort in knowing that they even though they won’t let me pick out their supplies anymore, they still choose quality products that will last from Hilroy. Hilroy has everything your teen needs to get their great story going this school year!
Enter the Back to School contest below to win a Hilroy Back to School Kit (valued at $115)
This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and Hilroy #ScribbleStories sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.