Heading back to school is exciting for both kids and parents, but with all the thrill and anticipation, there can be quite a bit of stress, too. As a parent, you can approach the impending school year with a positive attitude and these tricks can help minimize stress and give your kids extra confidence when heading into the classroom.
5 Ways to Squash Back-to-School Stress
(Family Features) Heading back to school is exciting for both kids and parents, but with all the thrill and anticipation, there can be quite a bit of stress, too. As a parent, you can approach the impending school year with a positive attitude and these tricks can help minimize stress and give your kids extra confidence when heading into the classroom.
Lifestyle expert and mother of two Jeannette Kaplun recommends these tips:
Start adjusting bedtimes before school starts. It's common for bedtime rules to be broken in the summer. However, an abrupt transition to early mornings can lead to stress and irritability. The National Sleep Foundation recommends implementing earlier bedtimes two weeks before school starts and setting the alarm a bit earlier each morning for a smooth transition to the first day of school.
Curb the summer slide. Screen time isn't just for passing time; leverage technology to keep the reading skills your kids learned in the classroom sharp all summer long. A device like the Fire Kids Edition tablet from Amazon is built from the ground up for kids with a two-year worry-free guarantee, a kid-proof case and a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, giving kids access to 15,000 kid-friendly books, videos, educational apps and games. Parental controls like Learn First encourage learning before playtime and allow you to set screen time limits to help get kids back into a routine for the school year. Additionally, STEM toys and games can keep math and science top of mind during the summer months and help kids excel during the school year.
Dress for success. There's a reason grownups tend to dress up for special events - when you look good, you feel good. Give your kids that same boost by helping them choose a special outfit for the first day of school that he or she feels comfortable and confident wearing. Shopping for clothes is an opportunity for your child to express individuality, so have fun with it. For added stress relief, lay out the complete ensemble the night before and have your child try it on to head off any concerns. If the routine works, try making it part of your nightly routine for stress-free mornings throughout the school year.
Simplify the shopping experience. Every back-to-school season comes with classroom supply lists and new wardrobe needs. A one-stop shop retailer like Amazon lets you complete your shopping on your own schedule, and its back-to-school store offers deals and a wide selection, making it easy to find everything from must-have items like binders, backpacks and shoes to fun gear such as glitter glue, donut erasers and emoji stickers that allow kids to express their personalities.
"Back-to-school shopping doesn't have to cause anxiety," Kaplun said. "By shopping online at Amazon from your phone, tablet or computer, you can buy everything you need without having to find a parking spot, tracking down a sales associate to help you find your child's size or standing in line to pay, saving you precious time. Plus, Prime members receive unlimited, free two-day shipping on more than 100 million items all-year long."
Share the excitement. It's perfectly normal for parents and kids to feel anxious about the new school year. Instead of revealing your own apprehension, share your favorite memories from your time in your child's upcoming grade. Ask your kids what they're most excited for and what they're a little nervous about and come up with solutions together.
Get a jump start on your stress-free transition back to school with more tips and resources at amazon.com/backtoschool.
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While the holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year for children, the gifting season can quickly spiral out of control for unprepared shoppers. These four tips can help you conquer holiday gifting like a pro.
4 Ways to Survive Holiday Gifting
(Family Features) While the holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year for children, the gifting season can quickly spiral out of control for unprepared shoppers.
These four tips can help you conquer holiday gifting like a pro:
Get organized. The secret to conquering the holiday season is having a plan. Take 10-15 minutes to update your calendar with all your holiday parties, family engagements, secret Santa exchanges or any other gifting commitments. Make sure to include dates, locations, times and even specifics, like themes, if they’re available. If you have multiple holiday events, you might even color-coordinate your planner for an easy visual reminder. Sync your events across all smart devices for an easy glance at the touch of a button.
Find your go-to gifts. As an adult, deciphering what kind of gifts a child wants in this digital age can be tricky. Some classics like brick toys are still a hit with kids of all ages. Studies show that 60 percent of children love playing with brick toys and more than half of parents love that their kids do, according to Mattel Global Consumer Insights. Try product lines like Mega Construx and Mega Bloks, which combine the fun of brick toys with popular franchises to create exciting products for kids. Find more holiday gift ideas at shop.mattel.com.
Wrap gifts early. Now that you have your plan in place, save time by purchasing all the gifts you will need for the holidays and wrapping them at one time. Prevent the stress of a last-minute gift wrap run by pre-wrapping gifts and simply labeling them with removable sticky notes.
Build a gifting closet. Once you have your gifts wrapped and ready to go, consider using an old crate or storage container and turning it into a “gifting closet.” Insert dividers to separate the gifts by age range and set aside your treasure trove in an easy-to-reach storage area. You can even use this closet year-round for birthdays and other gifting events. On the day of the party, simply open your gifting closet, grab a gift for the right age and head out the door.
Another option to save time and money this holiday season is to enter for the chance to win a gifting closet with $1,500 worth of MEGA products to help you conquer the gifting season. To enter the sweepstakes, post an original holiday photo to Instagram or Twitter with a short caption that includes why the entrant likes to give or receive construction toys as gifts. For full details, visit rules.prizelogic.com/MegaSocialSweeps.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.SOURCE:
(BPT) - It’s natural to pack all you can into those few precious summer months, but inevitably they’re gone before you know it. As summer vacations, sleepovers and outdoor grilling come to a close, it's time to start thinking about going back to school.
You may be working to pay off summer vacation bills when you realize you need to budget and pay for your child’s school supplies, clothing and other related school expenses.
In a recent survey conducted by Coinstar, about half of U.S. parents with kids between ages five and 18 believe school expenses are increasing. Of those surveyed, 57 percent will create a back-to-school budget.
To ease rising school costs, here are five budgeting tips that will help you get more for your back-to-school dollar:
Going back to school should be an exciting time for you and your kids. With these five budgeting tips, you can help cut the financial stress out of the process and kick the school year off to a great start.
When those first school bells ring and class is back in session for kids of all ages, make sure you and your student have everything in hand to help ensure success. Whether it’s tools for the classroom, supplies for a nutritious lunch, stylish clothes or helpful items for home, you’ll need to gear up for the school year ahead.
Better Back-to-School Buys
(Family Features) When those first school bells ring and class is back in session for kids of all ages, make sure you and your student have everything in hand to help ensure success. Whether it’s tools for the classroom, supplies for a nutritious lunch, stylish clothes or helpful items for home, you’ll need to gear up for the school year ahead. Find more back-to-school solutions at eLivingToday.com.
Teachers’ hard work and planning begin long before the school year starts and classes are back in session. Show your gratitude to your children’s teachers with merci Chocolates, a thoughtful collection of fine, European chocolates. Each slim, stylish box contains eight unique, individually wrapped flavors, making it the perfect token of appreciation to teachers for opening minds and touching hearts. Find more information at merci.us.
A Helping of Hummus
Find the hummus you love in individual, portable containers with Sabra Singles, which are easy to add to a lunchbox when you’re on the move. Each 2-ounce cup of Sabra hummus is non-GMO and contains 4 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of dietary fiber with no added sugar. Serve with carrots for an easy and tasty way to increase the veggies in your child’s diet every day. Visit sabra.com for more information.
Simply Super Storage for Kids
Good organizational habits are important to a child’s success in school. That’s why ClosetMaid created KidSpace, a collection of kid-tested and kid-approved juvenile storage furniture ranging from toy chests to storage shelves. This robust line, which was designed with safety and storage in mind, helps parents avoid clutter and create more space for imagination, magic and giggles in bedrooms, playrooms, living rooms and more. For more information, visit closetmaid.com/kidspace.
Send your student to school in style with shoes that fit this season’s “athleisure” trend and kick it up a notch with a hint of sparkle. These retro-inspired Arizona Sparkling Sneakers can add a relaxed, sporty feeling to a wardrobe without compromising on appearance. Help your child stand out from the crowd by finding these and more at JCPenney with styles that are priced to buy and guaranteed to love. Find more back-to-school styles at JCPenney.com.
Tech Tools for Students
Teach students to code with the TI-Innovator Hub from Texas Instruments, which plugs into the TI-84 Plus CE or TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator many students already have. The hub is a palm-sized board with a microcontroller that turns a graphing calculator into a STEM tool for back to school. Students can light up LEDs or write a program to play a song using their calculators. Learn more at education.ti.com.
Give your old-school lunchbox a technology upgrade this school year. The Freezable Classic Lunch Box from PackIt is the only horizontal lunch box that chills healthy food for hours with built-in freezable gel that eliminates the need for ice packs. The lunchbox’s top-load design makes it easy to pack flat containers like bento boxes, and a buckle handle clips onto totes, backpacks or sports bags for convenient travel to and from school, day care and extracurricular activities. Find more lunchtime solutions at packit.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Children at school)SOURCE:
Parents spare no expense giving their child the best, even if that means spending $200-plus a month on diapers and formula. The findings of a survey reveal a need for more affordable baby essentials that don’t sacrifice quality for price.
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