Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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How to deal with “back to school” stress as a single parent

Single parents have a lot on their plate; they have to balance their careers, social lives and a healthy lifestyle. However, a parent’s largest priority is typically their children and their needs. It makes sense that most single parents dread the back-to-school advertisements every August.

Going back to school means buying new clothes, school supplies and backpacks for the kids. It also includes meeting with teachers, visiting classrooms and preparing your child for the mountain of homework in September.

Tips to succeed this season

Luckily, there are ways to combat the school stress and still have your kids prepared on September 1:

  1. Timing – it’s crucial to know when is the best time to collect school supplies and prepare kids for their first day. Usually, the best time to find coupons and deals for school supplies is a month before school begins.
  2. Talk to your children – your finances may be in a different state depending on your situation, so set expectations with your children. They do not need seven notebooks in second grade nor do they need locker décor in elementary school. Make a list together, and they can choose the fun patterns or prints.
  3. Excite your child for school – it sounds odd, but an excited child makes the back-to-school season easier. If they are exciting for school and the academic year, they will choose supplies faster and transition smoothly on the first day. It may not work with all children, so point out the positive elements of school, like seeing their friends every day.
  4. Start good habits early – oftentimes, children have busy schedules during the summer. They may even have a different sleeping schedule due to the longer days. However, they need to start healthy habits early. Start going to bed earlier and eating a healthy breakfast each morning. It will prepare them for their school routine.
  5. Lean on your support system – whether it’s family members or a former spouse, do not be afraid to ask for help. Maybe you need one day to shop by yourself for school supplies or meet your child’s teacher. Have a grandparent watch the kid for the day so that you can be productive and successful.

Single parents are like another parent. They are doing their best to provide for their children, so follow these tips and find ways to relax during the back-to-school season.

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