Back to school for tweens
Now that your tween is back to school, there are a few issues to face. Whether the child is just beginning middle school or in the last year of middle school, it is a big transition. If the tween is attending a new school, there are new rules and a new campus to discover. After the summer vacation, it’s time to get up early again, to get new supplies, get used to new teachers, and face the peer pressure that influences tweens. Parents have to face financial issues as well.
Let’s begin with supplies. It is of utmost importance for your child to be organized and prepared. Most schools give students a list of supplies they will need for classes. There are three good sources for this in Los Angeles: Staples’ back to school center, where they have a middle school section and weekly specials (www.staples.com) ; Office Max, which offers 20% off for middle school purchases (www.officemax.com) ; and Amazon (www.amazon.com/Back-to-School-Supplies).
Some schools require uniforms, and they can be found at Target (www.target.com) or Lands End (www.landsend.com). In addition, Kohls (www.kohls.com) and J.C.Penney (www.jcpenney.com) have uniforms and backpacks. Just be sure that the school does not require you to purchase the uniform at a particular store.
Since preserving the environment is so important to our planet, it is important to “green your back to school shopping list. ..Just use the mantra: reuse, reduce, recycle!” (www.energy.gov/energysaver) Energy.gov is an excellent resource. For example, they suggest reusable lunchboxes and water bottles, reusing inventory from last year if possible, and purchasing energy-efficient products.
If you are purchasing supplies or clothes on a limited budget, you might want to listen to advice from www.abcnews.com. Establish a budget before you begin, use the credit card with the lowest interest rate, don’t use credit when you can pay with cash, look for a back-to-school rewards program on your credit cards or online, and don’t jump at store credit cards so that you can avoid credit inquiries on your credit report.
As far as peer pressure, you can help your tween feel comfortable by making sure he or she sees a guidance counselor if you see any signs of this. All in all, if your child is prepared for school, there will be have less anxiety about both the academic and social aspects of middle school.