With most students heading back to school this week, parenting expert, Colleen Burns joined me to share tips on easing the stress of back to school on both students and parents alike and ensuring your child has the perfect first day!
Candace Rose: With students heading back to school over the next few weeks, do you have any tips for parents to make the transition easier on both them and their children?
Colleen Burns: "Oh sure. Organization is so key and it sounds really obvious but this is also a really good time to show by example to your children what organization means and why it's important. So, really involve them in your process- that you're making a list, that you're getting done with those things; you're giving yourself a little extra time when you're done so that your children understand that getting your tasks completed on time, you're not as stressed. You are feeling more comfortable, you're not doing things at the last second, so that hopefully that sinks in a little bit when they have their list of homework to do because it might seem nice to put it off and watch tv or do something else first. It is a lot less stressful if you get your things done on time and turned in on time, so just; it's a great learning tool and I hope that parents out there kind of use that as a good time do to that."
CR: The first day of school is such a momentous day, especially for kids because they want to look their best. Do you have any suggestions when picking out the latest trends?
CB: "Well, find out what your child's priority is; maybe there's a pair of jeans or a certain shirt they really, really want. We're all on a budget right now with the way the economy is; try to find that one item that will help with their self esteem in the other areas they might be more willing to compromise. Also, if they're going to look a little different it might hurt their self esteem and so, if they have to wear metal braces that can be a challenge; something to consider at about the same price is Invisalign Teen. This is a practically invisible way of adjusting your children's teeth even if they're hard to adjust. The other great thing about it is that it's completely removable, so it's not going to interfere. For example with musical instruments or with sports equipment (a mouth guard or something like that.) And because you can take it out, you don't have to worry about not eating certain foods which is nice."
CR: What about basic school supplies?
CB: "Basic school supplies; we have so many to get sometimes, you know giant lists. If you've got more than one child in more than one school that can be a big job. You want to find one store where you can get all of your shopping done at the same time. Office Depot is a great option because you might not realize it but they stock most of their school supplies year round, unlike some of the other stores that bring in their school supplies right now and they run out and they don't restock. You'll find everything you need at Office Depot and for a penny you can get a ream of paper or a ruler, a lot of there great deals; you can find those at OfficeDepot.com/School.
Reading, so important this time of the year. You want to keep reading all through the summer, ideally. If you haven't been doing that with your child, start now it's never too late, but it's a great way of showing your children that learning doesn't really stop and start. Again, it's a great way to blur those lines and keep them thinking that reading is fun because it is fun and you want them to be left with that impression. Books are essential when going back to school but not every child can afford them and there's a way you can help by simply looking for those specially marked packages of Nestle candy (Crunch bars, Butterfinger bars) they're specially marked because up to $250,000 will be donated as part of the 'Nestle Share the Joy of Reading program' to R.I.F.; that's reading is fundamental. You've heard of this organization because it's the Nations largest and oldest children's literacy organization. You can get more information about this great program at CelebrationCorner.com/RIF."
Reading Is Fundamental – Celebration Corner RIF
CR: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
CB: "I have one tip if your child has to wear eyeglasses, and that is you should put a very positive spin on it because this is a great for them to accessorize. There's so many frames to choose from, it's really a great new way for kids to really show off their style (or not really a new way) but there are a lot of new styles these days. One of them is an old style and that's what they're calling 'geek chic;' this those kind of old clunkier frames that used to be in style a long time ago that are back in a big way. Also, these very sporty Adidas glasses (not shown) that come in a lot of fun colors and sunglasses- something to keep in mind as well because UV rays can be damaging to children's eyes, just as they are to adult eyes but children are actually exposed to three times as much sun according to studies; so something to keep in mind for your children. You can go to eyecessorize.com to look at these frames and a lot of others at all different price ranges. You can get more information on all the products and a lot of other back to school tips at News2Know.com."