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Nine Ways to Survive Back to School

Transitioning back to school life comes with many obstacles. The morning alarm clock signals an hour of utter chaos as you and your children charge around the house trying to get organised. Here are some tips for making the school run a stress-free process:

  1. Lay out the breakfast things the night before. This is pleasing because it makes you feel terrifically organised and your kitchen suddenly looks like a hotel breakfast room.
  1. Have a spare toothbrush and toothpaste by the kitchen sink. This avoids Bermuda Triangle Syndrome, which is when you send a child up to brush their teeth and then they promptly vanish, having decided that now is the ideal time to teach the hamster to play the clarinet or pluck all their eyebrows out.
  1. It is a universal mystery that a child, closely questioned the evening before about homework, will deny all existence of same until 8.15am the following morning when the amnesia will suddenly lift and they’ll remember they were supposed to build a scale model of St Paul’s out of yoghurt pots.
  1. Make packed lunches the night before. There goes the sheer panic and pressure in the morning of making something delicious in only 30 seconds.
  1. Music practice does sometimes have to occur in the morning, to ensure that Little Cuckoo Song is fresh in the child’s mind.
  1. For little ones, lay their clothes out the night before. This avoids them making a unilateral decision that a Dora the Explorer rucksack worn across the chest teamed with a pair of sparkly tights and some flippers is ideal for school and also avoids the hour of shuddering sobs when they’re told it isn’t.
  1. To avoid nasty surprises, frisk more often than at Heathrow Customs. Go through blazer pockets, PE bags and lunch boxes for letters from school. Only then will you find out that your payment for a trip you never knew they were going on is two months late.
  1. Create a text group of parents and carers who can be called upon quickly to verify anything potentially problematic.
  1. Avoid contentious discussions at breakfast. The last thing you want is a tantrum or a teenage existential crisis at 8am.

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During your lunch break, or the time you spend checking Facebook, another child will come into care. Right now, that child is thinking: 'Who cares?' More Videos
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