Important Things to Remember on the First Day of School was brought to you by Toyota USA. All opinions are mine.
This month and next, most kids are headed back to school. It is an exciting time for some, but it also can come with a lot of stress! Are you a laid back parent or one that gets stressed? I would like to think I am less stressed than years past, but others in my family may say otherwise. ha!
I have seen many articles and videos about back to school and specifically, back to school car lines. YES they are annoying and YES we realize that everyone is in a hurry, but you have to remember that we are dealing with real people and real kids here, so I have gathered a few thoughts and ideas to make this a smooth, safe process.
Important Things to Remember at the First Week of School Drop-off!
Make Sure the Car is Ready to go
Last year, one of our friend’s car died in the car line. It happens! Before school starts, make sure your car is ready to go and is dependable for back to school! We were able to borrow the Toyota Highlander for back to school and it has been a great car for this busy family! We adjusted car seats, made sure the boys could open the doors and that there was room for their backpacks. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is great for car lines!
Take School Supplies Before School Starts, if Possible
Kids will already have backpacks and possibly lunchboxes, they do not need to be weighed down with school supplies, so take advantage of supply drop-offs and meet the teacher night when you can leave supplies in your child’s room. Alternatively, you can see if your child’s school has the availability to order supplies and have them directly delivered to your child’s room. I am a bit too OCD for that, as I like to pick out everything, but I have friends that really love this service!
Wake Up 20 Minutes Earlier
Until you get back into the routine, there will be issues that need to be ironed out. Wake up at least 20 minutes earlier than you think you should and wake kids up earlier, as well. (That is, if they are not up two hours early from sheer excitement!)
Take Pictures Before Leaving OR The Day Before!
I always stress out about first day of school pictures. We have traditionally taken ours beside the house and the kids do not really want to take time to do this and if we are running behind, well, that is just stressful. I took our back to school pictures on Saturday night in front of the school because no one was around and we could take our time! (This is also good for gathering clothes and having kids decide what they will wear on the first day!)
Make A Checklist!
The night before, make a checklist of everything that needs to be done. Money due on the first day? Add that to the checklist. Lunches need to be made? Anything and everything that needs to be done…make a visual checklist so you can check it out and feel better about not forgetting anything.
Discuss Beforehand What Will Happen At Drop Off
Discuss how, when, where, and who will be getting out of the car. Decide whether you will park and walk in or just drop them off at the door. On the second day, discuss the same thing because it might be different. Tell kids that they need to have everything ready to go before leaving so they can just open the door and hop out when it is time.
Know That Some Kids can Become Nervous in an Instant
This is a big one. I see SO many moms and dads getting mad because the car in front of them is not pulling up or that they got in line when they should have parked and walked. Guess what! Sometimes kids can leave with a huge grin on their face and then completely freak out when it is time to get out of the car. Have a little patience and understanding because some things are just unavoidable.
That very thing has happened to us because of school anxiety. My kids are super pumped about school and then anxiety just stops them in their tracks. One of my sons literally cannot move when this feeling overwhelms him. I tried threats, kind words, bribes…nothing works. He just has to take a minute, take a breath, and regroup. And guess what? Honking from the car behind us doesn’t help!
Model Kindness For Your Kids
This one is tough. I see SO many parents complaining about people in the car line. I get it, I have, too! But please keep in mind that your kids are watching you. They are learning from you. Your stress can also set their mood for the rest of the day. Imagine being in a car with a driver that is getting more and more angry and then when it is your turn to get out of the car, your heart is racing, your stress level is up, and now you are expected to go in and behave and learn. SO hard, y’all!
I recently watched this video by Tiffany from Juggling the Jenkins and I totally think this can apply to the car line at school. Just be kind.
What other tips do you have for making the car line less stressful?