Back-to-school season is creating new stress for parents, according to a recent report from Fortune. With the average cost of kindergarten through 12th grade school supplies nearing $700, it’s no wonder that parents are looking for ways to alleviate the pressures of starting off the school year fully equipped. Laura Vanderkam, a mother of four children under the age of nine, writes about the stress that raised expectations inflicts on her as a parent.
“…For working parents, that means lots of late-night trips to Staples and Target, long lines and big bills,” she writes. “Add into that the challenge of managing new logistics – new schedules for the kids – and you’ve got full-on back to school stress.”
In a recent study by the National Retail Federation, it was discovered that, over the last 10 years, back-to-school spending has increased by 42%. School shopping even continued to increase despite the recession, and most of it is happening in-store, due to an emphasis on parent-child bonding during the hunt for supplies.
And purchasing school supplies isn’t the only thing stressing out parents. A new school year can bring new changes to the average family that can heap on the stress, even if it’s just a change of schedule. Scott Behson, author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide, notes how the change effects families:
“Any transition or change to your family schedule can be a source of stress. The first weeks of school are often difficult because summer camps and other child-care arrangements are done, but lots of schools have off-days and half-days during the initial weeks. This can wreak havoc if one or both parents have inflexible work schedules or lengthy commutes.”
Finding new ways to organize your schedules, as well as minimize waste of your child’s new school supplies, can help to alleviate some of these seasonal stressors. But sometimes, it’s just a matter of waiting out the storm.