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Tips for a stress-free back to school season

Abbi Perets lives in Houston, TX, with her husband and five children.






Don't stress about school

Want back to school to be a calmer experience this year than last? We've come up with plenty of ways to take stress out of the equation. With a little homework and some careful planning, you can send your kids off to school with smiles on their faces.

Boy on his way to school

Set up for success

If you wait until the night before school starts to begin your back to school preparations, you will be rushed -- and stressed. So don't wait. Instead, grab your planner right now and start figuring out when you need to have everything ready for a smooth transition. For example:

  • When should your shopping be finished?
  • When should you reinstitute school year bedtimes and wakeup times?
  • When should you plan and prep breakfasts and lunches?

Figure out when things need to happen so that the first day of school doesn't catch you by surprise.

Learn to love your freezer

The last thing you need on a busy school morning is to worry about what you're feeding the kids for breakfast -- or what they'll take for lunch. So take advantage of your downtime during the summer to prep some easy freezer breakfasts and lunches. Your family will love the grab -and-go convenience, and you'll enjoy some peace and quiet.

Run the routine

A streamlined morning starts with a written routine. That's right: Take the time to write down everything that needs to happen in the morning -- and then test it out. You'll see what needs to be tweaked and what needs to happen the night before to ensure the morning runs smoothly.

Let your kids give their input on the routine. If your son strenuously objects to choosing his clothes the night before, let him know that he can choose in the morning. But if he's late -- or if he picks clothes you don't approve of -- he'll have to go back to setting out his clothes the night before.

Keep your cool

If you've done your prep work ahead of time, your morning should be significantly less stressful. But even if something goes wrong -- your teen overslept -- try to keep it in perspective. So she didn't join the family for breakfast? Not ideal, but at least you caught the mistake early enough that she won't be late for school.

Let morning be a time to connect with your kids and show them your love and support. They'll carry that with them throughout the day, and you'll get high marks as a mom.

Easy freezer breakfast recipe

Make-ahead breakfast pizza

Pizza made with eggs, cheese and mushrooms can be a great substitute for breakfast or brunch omelet. This step-by-step video explains how to make a delicious "breakfast pizza."

More tips for stress-free mornings:

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