Want to start the school year off right? 7 mistakes to avoid

Want to start the school year off right? 7 mistakes to avoid

Parenting Tips and Advice

Want to start the school year off right? 7 mistakes to avoid

Stressing over back-to-school planning? We know you already have a to-do list a mile long. We feel your pain and don’t want to add to it.

Instead, we’d like to alleviate some of the burden and guilt (for what you’re never going to accomplish, anyway) with this list.

Don’t do these 7 things

Save yourself time, effort and frustration. Heed our warnings if you want to start the new school year off right.

1. DON’T take the kids shopping for school supplies

You’ve been warned. Taking kids is guaranteed to double the time it takes on this annual scavenger hunt. You’ll hit multiple stores to find items so specific Siri advises you to check the dark web. At each stop, kids will have their own specific requests that you buy them candy or fidget spinners that in no way prepare them for academic success. You’re already paying more for school supplies than an Arizona summer electric bill. Cut your losses. Go it alone.

2. DON’T make a fancy-pants, first-day-of-school lunch

Credit: Getty Images

You child will probably love it. What’s not to love? The heart-shaped sandwich, carrots carved into baby giraffes, fresh-baked whatever and the personal note tucked in the brand-new Wonder Woman lunch box. Let’s be real. At the end of the year, you’re throwing a few Goldfish in a Walmart plastic bag with a bottled water (when you remember). Lower your expectations and the number of minutes it takes to make school lunch. Save parent and child future heartache.

3. DON’T forget to update immunization shots

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Children need so many shots you’d think they were traveling to a remote jungle before starting school. Along the way, they need new or booster shots. For example, kids will need a meningitis vaccine and the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis12 (Tdap) at age 10 or 11, according to the CDC vaccination schedule. Forget this and you’ll get a nasty note from the school. Your child may be sent home until you present proof of vaccination.

4. DON’T make an emotional scene when dropping them off

For elementary-school kids (excluding kindergartners, who still love you more than life itself), refrain from hugs lasting more than three seconds, any lip-to-face contact or audible endearments, especially those ending in -pie, -bug or -shmoo. For teens, no-no emotional scenes include honking the horn, waving or other actions indicating you are anything but an Uber driver.  Don’t worry, they’ll show their appreciation. Some day.

5. DON’T start putting their work on the fridge right away

If you post the 30-word “What I did over summer vacation” essay, by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, there will be no room for the five-finger turkey picture. Be selective. The fridge is a juried show for schoolwork. Send the message that if they want to get on the fridge, it’s going to take their A-game.

6. DON’T friend your child’s teachers on Facebook or invite them to follow you on Instagram

Such breaches of the teacher-student barrier greatly increases the risk of school-based humiliation. Friending seems unimportant until one day the teacher greets your child with, “You and your Grampy looked adorable at IHOP last night!”

7. DON’T complain via social media

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If you have concerns about your child’s education, ignore the impulse to go on Twitter or the school’s Facebook page to air your grievances. Reach out the old-school way, by phone or a face-to-face appointment with the teacher or administrator. Let’s make civility great again.

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