(BPT) – Every school year brings new beginnings, whether your child is going to kindergarten, entering middle school, or heading off to college. New environments, people and challenges can create anxiety for parents and kids, no matter how much a child might be looking forward to the school year. Children may worry about doing well and fitting in, and parents wrestle with the emotional challenge of entrusting their child’s well-being and happiness to someone else. In fact, more than nine out 10 parents get emotional when sending their child back to school – and nearly seven out of 10 admit they do every year, according to a survey by Wakefield Research.
Sending kids back to school with some of the comforts that make them feel safe, loved and cared for at home can help ease the transition for both parents and children. Here are some simple ways parents can pack comfort in to backpacks and lunches this school year:
* Tissues aren’t just for blowing little noses or wiping tears, they can also help parents rest a little easier knowing that their child will have everything they need while away at school. Parents will feel comforted knowing that they’re packing some of the comforts of home with their children. Visit www.puffs.com to learn more.
* New environments, people and sometimes even new cafeteria food can cause tummy distress. Parents can ease food worries by packing kids’ favorite lunches — for at least the first week of school. Choose your kids’ favorite comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly and applesauce.
* Another tactic parents can use to turn the lunch table into a comfort zone is to pack another treat in their children’s lunchboxes to remind them of all the fun they had over the summer such as a favorite photo from the family’s summer vacation with a loving note jotted on the back.
* By the time kids get to middle school and high school, their schedules fill up and their days become more hectic. Parents can help kids feel more on top of things by printing out a copy of their daily schedule and posting it in the kitchen where everyone will see it, or by sharing schedules (yours and theirs) on the family’s smartphones. A shared schedule ensures they’ll have the comfort of knowing where mom and dad are throughout the day, and parents will be able to keep track of what’s going on in their kids’ daily lives.
* Giving children something to look forward to at the end of the first week back in school can also help take their minds off their jitters. Parents can work with children to plan a fun end-of-week outing, such as going for ice cream, getting their favorite takeout food or seeing a movie together.
In the first few weeks of back-to-school season, parents and children may find themselves missing each other. A few simple tricks can send kids to school with the comforts of home, and help make the transition easier for everyone.
The Puffs survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 500 parents of kids in grades K-8, between Aug. 6 and Aug. 11, 2015, using an email invitation and an online survey. The margin of error for the study is +/- 4.4 percent.