Back to School: Seven Tips for the Frazzled Parent

Summer’s lazy hazy days are waning and that means it’s time to start thinking about the kids heading back to school.

If you are like most parents, you probably feel a little frazzled thinking about all of the things that have to get done before that much-anticipated first day of school: Shopping for clothes and supplies, getting back into a bedtime routine, making sure you have a solid list of snack and lunch ideas…

We get it. It can be overwhelming!

While back-to-school time is exciting and fun, it can also stress out parents who are jam-packed with kid activities, work, friends, family and other commitments. As the clock ticks down toward the first day, we are sharing our best tips for the frazzled parent! Need advice? Read on:


In the summer, it can be difficult to get the kiddos in bed at a reasonable hour. After all, it’s light out! There is so much to do! They don’t have to get up so early! There are a million reasons to let the routine slide. But when school starts, you want your little ones to be well-rested so they can soak up all the learning, right? Right. We recommend starting to ease back into a bedtime routine two weeks before the first day. Move bedtime up by 5 or 10 minutes gradually, until you are closer to the school week ideal. That way, it’s not such a shock to everyone when it’s suddenly lights-out at 8 p.m.

Lunchbox Hero

One of the things we celebrate at the end of the school year is the end of packing daily lunches and snacks. It’s a real grind to come up with healthy, kid-friendly ideas day after day (and week after week). Start test-driving some new ideas in the weeks before school starts so you’ll have your shopping list solidified and the taste buds of your little ones satisfied.

Swim Lessons

One of the most challenging things as a parent is keeping your kids in a rhythm or routine. Most children thrive with a daily or weekly routine, as it helps them know what to expect and is comforting in a world where they don’t have much control. Keeping your kids in weekly swim classes (or Swim Force) through the school year is a great way to do that. It’s also a way to keep seeing those extraordinary results, from our instructors who use integrity, compassion and trust to teach your guppies how to swim AND be safer in and around water. (And let’s be honest: The warm, tropical environment at Goldfish will keep the summer vibes going well into the new school year!)

Shop ‘til You Drop

You have a lot to buy in the weeks before school starts: New shoes, backpacks, pencils. It can get overwhelming! We love to do shopping online, but it’s also kind of fun to make a special day of it and let your kids pick a few things to start the year. We suggest getting the ‘boring’ stuff online, and then make dates with your kids to have lunch and get a special new outfit or some cool new supplies.

Meet the Teacher

For a lot of kids, not knowing what to expect on the first day can cause some fears and anxiety. If you can, try to schedule some time to play on the school playground or pop in briefly to say hi to the teacher. A few minutes meeting him or her (and learning about the school) can go a long way to fewer tears on the first day, especially for kindergarteners. (Psst…at Goldfish, we ALWAYS welcome the opportunity for students to meet a new teacher or say hello to an old favorite before or after lessons!)

Playdate Time

To that end, if you know of a child or two who will be in your child’s grade, set up a playdate so the budding buddies can hang before the first day. It always helps to see a familiar face in a new setting, and your child will have an easier transition if he or she has a friend to eat lunch with or run around with on the playground.

Chill Day

Having a ‘chill day’ during the week before school is a great family tradition! It allows everyone to relax, bond and enjoy a few calm moments before the hectic days of school. Having a PJ party with popcorn and movies, or a craft day, coloring day, or a board game day is a great way to re-center and reflect on what a GREAT summer you had!

Goldfish Swim School

At Goldfish Swim School, we teach children as young as four months old how to swim. Stop in at one of our many locations across the U.S. today and get a taste of our WOW! Customer service for yourself!

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