Back to school time can be both exciting and stressful for parents and children. The return to a quicker pace, homework and after school activities can add additional stress to family members. Shifting routines, setting new rules, new teachers, classmates and even schools can cause increased tension in the home. Here are three quick tips to ease back into the school year with less stress.

1. Make Lists.  Begin preparing for back to school with lists. Get lists for school supplies. Many office supply stores have lists online by grades. There are a number of school supply lists online for elementary and middle school children as well as high school-aged students. Some specific items are sent from teachers during the first week of school but a good list will get your children ready for the school year. You might want to add a family planner to keep track of activities and special appointments. Other lists for clothing and school routines can help ease return to school stress as well.

2. Practice School Routines. One tip to prevent first day of school jitters is to practice the routine a week before school begins. This allows the family to adapt to the new fall routine. Allow kids to lay school clothes out the night before. Know when the bus is scheduled t arrive. Plan lunches and fill backpacks with your new supplies. This process will ease students back into the routine and catch glitches before they turn into problems.

3. Have a Family Meeting. Have a brief family meeting to discuss new homework rules, activities and after school snack options. Other subjects can include after school program participation and situations your children may encounter in class. This process keeps the line of communication open to discuss any stress or anxiety the students may be feeling about returning to school. Peer pressure, bullying and other subjects can be topics for family meetings. This process will let your children know you support and are present for them.

Following these simple tips can help get the school year off to a healthy, happy start.

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