AUGUST 13TH, 2015

42076391_sAs the new school year gets under way, many parents are planning the annual “back-to-school” shopping. What used to be a day of buying a few new clothes and some nice folders and notebooks has now turned into a mad-dash to get everything on the school list and the latest Abercrombie or Hollister jeans! Oh, and it also comes with some pretty high-expectations from kids who want the latest IPhone and IPad, too.

So, what’s a parent to do? Well, the first thing is to get your stress under control. A new school year can be a stress on you and your wallet. To make it easier start by planning your shopping. Whether online or in a store having a plan always makes it easier. Secondly, temper your child’s expectations by discussing the budget with them and letting them know what is or isn’t on YOUR list for back-to-school. Most important is for you to deal with your guilty feelings about not being able to buy your kids everything they want. In today’s child-centered world, parents often are guilted into buying things against their better judgement. So here are some ideas for back-to-school shopping!

  • Before you go shopping take an afternoon or evening with your child to look at what you already have and make a list of what needs to be replaced. If you have more than one child, see if you can get the kids to swap some of their reusable supplies and clothes with each other. Suggest that they do this with friends too!
  • With middle school children and teenagers, you can have them do the research online or in magazines on what they want for school. Give them a budget. Have them make a list that includes the prices. Make sure they understand that the budget includes the school supply list and then come the extras. This is a great opportunity for teaching the value of a dollar.
  • Help children choose. If they are having trouble choosing between items have them think about what it is they need and what they really want. Even if you can afford more or they have their money, it is still good to teach about needs and wants.

The important thing is to make back-to-school shopping an enjoyable experience for all of you! Remember, school shopping is almost as much fun for kids as the holidays (almost!).

Information contained in this blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.


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