Back-to-school season changes as children get older. No more printing off the supplies list and checking off each required item: 24 pack of crayons, box of sharpened #2 pencils, 2 boxes of tissues, 3 tubs of disinfectant wipes, etc.
If you want to succeed getting your teen prepared for this year’s back-to-school season, whether they are headed to high school or college, there are some clear steps to prep your teen for back-to-school.
Step One: Become a Teen Again
Think back to your teen years. Were you chomping at the bit to get back into the classroom? Not every kid is exactly thrilled about the return of school. Back to school means the end of summer, end of hanging out with friends all day, end of mid-day naps and the end of staying up until 2 a.m. So, chances are, back to school shopping may be met with some resistance.
Step Two: Find Out What Your Teen Really Wants
Try creating a fun day with your teen to instill some excitement about going back to school. Let your teen sleep in, within reason, and then take go to breakfast or lunch (let your teen choose the restaurant.) This starts the experience by allowing your teen to take ownership of their back-to-school experience and allows for you and your teen to reconnect. Take this time to find out what they need and want to tackle first.
The list may surprise you. Sprinkle in questions to find out what your teen may be anxious about with the start of a new school year or going off to college for the first time. Once your teen is fueled, you’re ready to shop!
Step Three: Make the Most out of a Budget
Give your teen a budget to include clothing/shoes, supplies, electronics, dorm room décor, and miscellaneous items. Remind them the budget will go farther at a thrift store, like Goodwill. Teens appreciate shopping resale because of the upcycle aspect. Win some points with your teen and share this fun fact: 11 million pounds of material was diverted from area landfills last year because of area donors and the local Goodwill system.
One Last Tip…Donate.
As your teen is putting away their newly purchased clothing, have them give you the items they no longer wear and donate those items to Goodwill and keep the cycle going!
Enjoy your back-to-school shopping experience with your teen because they can be great memories!