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10 incredibly simple ways to ease back-to-school stress

Published: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 10:41 a.m. CDT

(BPT) — Helping your child ease into the school year sets them up to succeed both academically and socially. But making the transition from the lazy days of summer to the hectic pace of back to school can be overwhelming, for you and your kids. Between school supply shopping, extracurricular activities, homework, and the daily lunch box routine - where’s a busy parent to start?

Nicole Feliciano, founder of the popular blog MomTrends.com and mother of two kids says it’s important for parents to have a back-to-school plan. “As a working mom, I understand that it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and excitement of back to school. Preparation is important for a successful transition, so I’ve put together a few of my go-to’s to help families stay on schedule this year.” 

Here are her go-to tips to help you seamlessly transition from summer to back-to-school season:

1. Proactively adjust wake-up times

Start your family’s wake-up routine a few weeks before school starts to get kids adjusted to earlier alarm clocks. Keep in mind that children between ages 5 and 12 should sleep between 10 to 11 hours each day, and teens need a little over 9 hours of sleep each night to function best, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

2. Establish a routine

Get in a rhythm as research shows that kids with daily family routines are more emotionally and socially advanced, particularly for pre-school-aged kids. A recent analysis found that each daily ritual increased the likelihood of a child having high social-emotional health by 47 percent.

3. Encourage healthful snacking

Promote nutritious eating behaviors by stocking the pantry with wholesome, after-school snacks. Companies like NatureBox, which delivers a monthly box of kid-approved snacks straight to your door, are a great way to save time and stress. Then designate a drawer where kids can find tasty treats like NatureBox’s Carrot Strawberry Fruit Chews and Santa Fe Corn Stix to help boost energy and maintain focus until dinnertime.  

4. Make a family calendar

Keep everyone on the same page with a family calendar displayed prominently in the kitchen or study space. It’s a powerful tool to help keep track of open houses, school carnivals and conferences. Better yet, encourage your kids to add their own events to the calendar to get them engaged in the planning process.

5. Create a chore chart 

Making visual reminders, like a chore chart, helps kids keep up with their responsibilities at home, while juggling school obligations. Simply list each of your family members’ names followed by specific chores for each day of the week, then hang the chart on the fridge or make copies for each child’s bedroom.

6. Enhance the lunch box

Guess what? The average shopping trip to the grocery store takes 41 minutes. Save yourself hassle and gas money by shopping online for key lunchbox staples, like tasty snacks. NatureBox delivers five different snacks each month from a selection of over 100 delicious, nutritionist-approved options your kids are sure to love. You can choose specific snacks or opt to have NatureBox surprise you based on your kids’ specific taste preferences and dietary needs. Learn more at NatureBox.com.

7. Decide on screen time

Set screen time limits for weekdays and weekends to make sure your kids spend enough time focusing on homework and playing outside.

8. Create a study space

Foster a productive, distraction-free area where your kids can read, study and do homework. Simply designate a place for studying that’s quiet and has plenty of supplies to help your A-student stay focused and motivated.

9. Prep in the evenings

Save time and prevent headaches each morning by planning ahead the evening prior. Have children pick out their clothes, pack backpacks, and get lunches ready for the next day before they go to bed. Then when morning arrives, all they need to do is eat, get dressed, and head out the door.

10. Cut paperwork chaos

Reduce the paper panic brought on by permission slips, health documents and fundraising packets by asking your child for school forms every day after school to ensure nothing gets lost. Fill them out promptly, make copies if necessary, and file them in color-coded folders for easy access.

For more back-to-school tips, visit MomTrends.com, and to save time with NatureBox’s convenient snack delivery, visit www.NatureBox.com.

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