September is fast approaching. List in hand, you are busily preparing to purchase your children’s school supplies, shopping for school clothes, and planning all the other last-minute errands to ensure everyone will be ready.

Worried the final days of summer will be a race against the clock? Take a deep breath and relax. Taking a more zen approach is not so farfetched. Sound too good to be true? With few helpful tips, you can do it!

Plan ahead…

Over the last few months your children have enjoyed the freedoms and joys of summer, but now it’s time to think about school again.

Even though it might not show, your children may be a little anxious about this. So now’s the time to make this period easier for them, and here are some of the ways you can help.

  • A few days before your children start school, change their schedule—start getting them up earlier in the morning and putting them to bed earlier at night. This way, they’ll get used to the school day schedule more gradually.
  • Explain to your children why they have to go to school and help them understand the many advantages they can get out of it. For instance, they can see school friends again, learn more about favourite subjects, participate in school sports, etc.
  • If you feel your children are anxious, let them know that you understand and that you’ll be there to help them with any problems.
  • If your children will be attending school for the first time or are changing schools, it’s a good idea to introduce them to their new school before the first day. Visiting the schoolyard and classrooms, for instance, can be reassuring. If the school holds an “Open House,” take them to it so they can see the facilities firsthand.
  • On their first day back, why not slip a note into their lunch boxes. They’ll know that you’re thinking of them and feel reassured.

Is it back-to-work for you as well?

Your children will sense any anxiety or tension you might be feeling about returning to work after a summer break.

Here are a few tips to avoid projecting your stress onto your children and prepare to return to work happy and serene.

1. Take care of yourself

Try to take some time just for yourself at least once a week. Depending on what you like, take a break to go shopping, get some exercise, have a massage, read a good book, etc.

2. BR-EA-THE!

If you feel stressed, take a break. Close your eyes and try to turn the switch off. Breathe deeply in and out. Repeat as necessary.

3. Reorganize your schedule

Cancel unnecessary meetings and eliminate superfluous constraints. Just focus on the essentials.

4. Prepare ahead of time

On the first day back, have everything ready for everyone so you don’t have to scramble in the morning. No tidying up, no cleaning, no errands to run… just a smooth and easy first day back.

5. Take a few days off

Take a few days off if you can to be there for your children on their first day back and have time to get yourself reorganized.

6. Next year, plan to buy school supplies in July

You will avoid the last-minute shopping rush.

With a little planning, you can avoid back-to-school stress. Take the time needed to get yourself and your children ready ahead of time. On the first day back… you’ll be glad you did!