When your kids were younger, the first day of school was an event they looked forward to. As they grow up and enter their tween and teen years, the allure of back-to-school time fades. They’ve been there and done that plenty of times, and now the transition to the academic year is something to bemoan, not get excited about. With that jaded attitude in mind, it’s important to do what you can to motivate kids for school as they grow up. Doing so will keep them on the right track through graduation and into their college careers.
Help your kids start off on the right foot this school year with these budget-friendly tips.
Save on Back-to-School Clothes
Letting your child pick out their own back-to-school clothes gives them some agency as the first day approaches. They may even feel excited about the prospect of wearing their new duds to school — imagine that! You can save money on the latest kids’ fashions with coupons and cashback offers from retailers like Macy’s, money back and discounts from Old Navy, and promo codes and deals from Kohl’s. You may even save enough money to buy yourself something for the fall season.
Improve Their Sleep
Sleep deprivation has a significantly negative impact on a child’s academic performance. Make sure your kid is ready to get back on their school year sleep routine by implementing it a week or two before the first day. This should give them enough time to acclimate to the earlier hours.
If they find it difficult to get back in the swing of things, try the following tips for better sleep:
- Make time to work out together in the morning, late afternoon, or early evening. Just avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as the endorphins and adrenaline may work against them. Exercising will help release any extra energy they aren’t releasing over their lazy summer days. You can save money by sticking to fun activities like running, playing sports in the park, or swimming at the community center pool. If you do join a gym, check out new member savings options from sites like Groupon.
- Have you teen or tween take a hot bath or shower before bed; this will raise their body temperature slightly. When they step out into the cooler environment, the sudden dip in temperature creates a drowsy feeling in the body, making it easier for your child to fall asleep. Best of all, a hot bath costs not much more than pennies on your water bill.
- Have your child read before bed. Not only will this help them finish their summer reading list in time, but it also has significant benefits for their growing brains. Reading before bed increases focus, improves memory, encourages creativity, teaches empathy, and helps the brain and body relax before sleeping. You can save money on books by using coupons at Barnes & Noble or by making weekly library trips where your kids can check out volumes that interest them.
Lunch Time Love
While some tweens and teens prefer to buy their lunch at school, homemade lunches are more wallet-friendly while also having the added benefits of being healthier and tailored to your child’s tastes. Plus, packing your child’s lunch is one of the final ways you’ll get to baby them before they head off to college! Come up with a few tasty, healthy lunches ideas and include your child when it comes to the decision making and assembly. Teaching your child how to make their own meals now instills an invaluable life skill in them early. They can go off into the real world healthier and well-prepared for the hectic schedules that come with adult life.
If you want to motivate your tween or teen for the first day of school, you can do so without breaking the bank. Let them pick out their own back-to-school clothes, but save money with helpful coupons and cashback offers. Get them back on a regular sleep schedule so they are well-rested for the first day. You can improve their sleep for free with healthy habits like daily exercise, warm baths before bed, and plenty of reading. Finally, packing your child’s lunches is more affordable than letting them throw money at junk food in the cafeteria. Work together to come up with some healthy options that they will look forward to eating.