10 Tips for Surviving the Back to School Transition



1. Buy 75 water bottles and 1,230 pairs of mittens.

You will still end up with 10 non matched mittens and zero water bottles by March.

2. Stop complaining about school supplies

School budgets have no room to buy the amount of crayons that can be needed for fun learning. We all have to pitch in. It takes a village.

Considering you’ll spend 12$ on a margarita, I’m sure you could figure out how to buy some binders, pens, and tissues. 

3. Dry Run

Take a drive over to the school and talk about going into school. 

Helping kids understand what to expect always makes for a smoother transition. The fear of the unknown creates such nervousness in children and typically rears it’s head as non-compliant behavior. 

4. Buy your children practical clothing.

I know your facebook picture game is on fleek, but seriously.

Your kid has to go to the bathroom. Your kid needs to not have shoe laces that are ridiculous for the sake of fashion. Throw your preschool teacher a bone and get velcro shoes. 

Your kid can be cute and comfortable. But he needs room to play and run and jump. 


5. Feed you kids healthy, but be realistic.

Curse your sister for introducing your children to “Fluff.” Then buy fluff at the grocery store. 

Ugh! Try to be healthy. But don’t be so hard on yourself Mom.


6. Make morning rules and routine

Kids thrive in consistency. That’s the rules.

Sit down with your kids and show a visual of what a school morning looks like. 

Then POST this in your kitchen.

Ya right Britt. Good luck with that..

I reject your skeptisim. Take the night back Mom. Guess what? You are in CHARGE. You know it’s good for your kid to not be glued to a screen before school. We have enough science to know its like cocaine for their little brain. 

You are right that your kid won’t just do this. That’s why you will fight them! For their own good. You will prompt this routine over and over and over again. You will assume no one is listening. You will throw shoes at the front door in rage.

But you will do it over and over again. Then one day you will see them form routine. Your hard work will pay off. Don’t give up. Even if it’s just that they have a healthy morning routine one day when they are grown.

You are your child’s life teacher.


7. Say Good morning to other humans and hold the door. 

When you enter your child’s school, model the behavior you want your child to become. Hold open the door. Say good morning to everyone. Make eye contact with people.

If you want your kid to grow up to be a kind or polite adult. If that interests you. Then model that behavior.

It kills me the parents who drop off at preschool who avert their eyes when walking down the hall of the school. It’s like don’t worry, I’m not going to stop you and talk to you and ruin your morning mission. But it always cracks me up when you are close proximity with another human and people choose to awkwardly not acknowledge the person, instead of just saying good morning.


8. Family Calendar

Make it big and make it colorful. Hang that shit up. Organize the chaos. Have a place to tell your kid to go look vs.asking you how many days until something 1,000 times. 

Visual aids are so helpful when running a household. Unless, you prefer to just keep yelling the same thing over and over again. Assuming that your child learns information best from someone yelling down the hall.


9. Stop overthinking and trying to create the perfect problem free environment for your child. 

Requesting specific teachers. Worry about being with certain kids. Should I send him to Kindergarten even though he has a Summer birthday?

Knock it off.

Stop trying to control something that you can’t control. Trying to carve the perfect path to success for your child.

Mom, haven’t you learned yet that your plans aren’t going to work out?

Trying to rid your child of every precipitating factor that could cause them pain or an obstacle to overcome.

Mom’s in 2018 have the wrong job description. It’s not your job to alleviate your child from all pain, embarassment, or discomfort.

You are the coach, not their butler. 

They experience painful life feelings and you are there to show them how to deal with that. How to pick yourself up. How to grow from it. How to move on. That’s what your kid needs.

When the school calls and says, “Michael did *insert whatever dumb teenage brains impulsively do*” and if you say “My son would never do that.”

That’s not your job. To blindly defend him.

It’s your job to say, “You messed up. Now we are going to make things right. It’s going to suck to admit what you did. But I’ll be there sitting right besides you while you do it.”


10. Stop talking poorly about school in front of your kids

Be careful of the messaging you send to your kids.

If you have some unresolved feelings toward school, don’t put that on your kid.

Don’t give your own kids the idea that school is a drag. Make sure you are saying school is fun, exciting, an opportunity, and a privilege.

If you want your kid to be successful, the best thing you can do is give them a mindset that learning is fun and important. Because it truly is.


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One thought on “10 Tips for Surviving the Back to School Transition”

  1. That was such an honest and humorous article. Thank you for sharing this advice with your readers, Britt. I was just having a conversation with my sister-in-law about projecting our feelings about middle school onto my nephew (hint, we didn’t have positive experiences). We agreed that he has the potential to really love middle school and avoid the emotional baggage that we both carry. This was a great article to read after that conversation. (Plus, I love the morning routine poster.)

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