Alright moms, whether you’re sad to see the summer end or excitedly doing the back to school dance, I’ve got some tips for you that will hopefully make your child’s school year a memorable one and even add some organization to these crazy lives of ours.

See you later summer. It's time for school! (Photo by C. Corrigan)

See you later summer. It’s time for school! (Photo by C. Corrigan)

1. Download the Keepy App on your Phone

Of course you treasure all of those cute art projects that your little Picasso brings home from school. Sure, you might not always be able to recognize what it is (Is this supposed to be a painting of a flower or a person?) but we treasure them nonetheless. A big problem can be trying to figure out what to do with them all. They can’t all fit on the fridge! Before you know it, they are a month into school and you’ve accumulated a pile of art projects that you have no clue what to do with. If that sounds familiar you may want to download the Keepy App for your phone. It’s free and is the perfect solution for eliminating the clutter while still holding onto their precious artwork over the years! It’s like a virtual fridge, but better, because you also have the ability to keep track of the date, write a description, record your child’s voice and/or even add a video of your child explaining their masterpiece. I’m sure there are probably other Apps that do something similar, but this is the one I use and highly recommend it!

This masterpiece is straight out of my Keepy album!

This masterpiece is straight out of my Keepy album!

2. Start a “Funny sh*t your kids say/do” Journal

I use the term journal loosely. My “journal” is actually a running record of quotes and anecdotes that I keep in the Notes App on my phone. I’m rarely without my cell phone and, I’d be willing to bet you already know, kids don’t wait until you have a pen and paper handy to say something hysterical. If I don’t write it down right away I’ll forget about it. I’d like to think I wouldn’t, but I will. There’s too much to remember right now as it is! Let me tell you, I find myself scrolling through this list anytime I need a little mood boost. It’s a great source of entertainment and I always have it handy to share with friends and family!

3. First Day of School Pictures

It’s time once again to break out the old camera and take the infamous first day of school picture. If things were a bit rushed and nuts-o (yes, I’m sure that’s a real word) and you forgot, don’t panic! Just take the picture within the first couple weeks of school. Shhhhh… I won’t tell and I’m sure your kids won’t think anything of it! I hear there’s a grace period for this sort of thing anyway. It’s really fun to also take a picture of your kiddo on the last day of school and compare the two. There are all kind of free photo Apps out there that make it easy to create a collage of the first and last day of school pictures. If you really want to step up your game, you can even have your child hold one of these free printable photo prop signs from inkhappi. I have mine printed and ready to go! All that’s left to do is figure out how I’m going to bribe my daughter to get her to take the picture.

4. Practice Positive Reinforcement

I’m a firm believer in the power of positive reinforcement. Although we might sometimes think otherwise, our kids want us to be proud of them. It’s so easy to get caught up with the negatives, the nagging do’s and don’ts that incorporating a fun way to be mindful of all the great things our kids do can create a better atmosphere for everyone! I was really excited to see that one of my favorite websites, how does she, is making it that much easier for us busy working moms to incorporate positive reinforcement into our daily lives in a creative way. They’re offering some super cute (and free!) “Caught Ya Being Good” printables, along with some ideas for how to use them. These are great for those moments when you catch your child in the act of doing something praise-worthy (like helping someone, sharing with a sibling, cleaning up their mess without being asked). There really isn’t much better than good, old-fashioned praise!

5. Tackle the Topic of Bullying

On a more serious note, I think it’s the perfect time of year to discuss bullying with your children. Okay, so this one is not really a trick, per say. I feel it’s really more of a must.  We all like to think that our child would never bully someone else, or be bullied by others, but the reality is that they very well might. It certainly doesn’t hurt to be proactive and share your feelings about it with them and talk about what bullying means and what to do if they ever find themselves in a situation where someone is bullying them. For suggestions on how to approach this topic with your kids you can click here. Just as we believe in not judging other moms, we need to pass along that same attitude of love and acceptance down to our children. It starts with us parents!

Anti-bullying

Wishing you and your munchkins an enjoyable, stress-free school year filled with wonderful memories!

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