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To reduce stress, start easing into school routines now with these tips.

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Easing into back-to-school mode is as important for parents as it is for kids. You can reduce stress for everyone in the family by starting the transition now, as the lazy days of summer wind to a close. Don’t wait until the night before school starts to set new bedtimes or make sure everyone has what they need to get on the bus in the morning.

Here are 5 things you can do now to make going back to school less stressful:

  1. Adjust sleep routines. You can’t expect everyone to suddenly be ready to go to bed and wake up early after a summer of unstructured sleep. Start modifying sleep schedules a couple of weeks before school begins, moving the time kids go to bed and wake up by about 10-15 minutes a day.
  2. Buy school supplies. Most schools send home a list of supplies kids will need, so rather than making a mad dash to buy supplies when everyone is doing the same thing, get the task done early. This will get kids excited for a new school year and will also give you access to more options before pickings are slim.
  3. Plan extracurricular activities. Sign up for classes, sports teams and after-school programs before they’re filled and make sure everyone’s schedule will work for you or whoever will be driving kids where they need to go.
  4. Reconnect with classmates. Get kids back in the routine of seeing and playing with classmates (new or old) so they’re excited to go back to school. If summer plans have kept kids away from school friends, start scheduling those playdates now.
  5. Resume reading and writing. If you’ve let kids take a break from more academic pursuits during the summer, get back into a routine of reading and writing each day. Set aside quiet time for everyone in the family to read or encourage kids to create a journal highlighting the fun things they did all summer.

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Date Last Reviewed: May 3, 2022

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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