Unwritten Rules For Surviving And Thriving Back To School Season As A Parent

The phrase “back to school” can evoke different emotions from different kids. Some kids actually get excited for that first day of school! The rest of us weren’t ready to give up on summer, and that first day of school meant a night full of tears and panic as we tried to put together the perfect outfit to kick off another year.

While we can all remember how we felt as kids, not nearly enough credit goes to our parents. They’re downright thrilled to see that school bus come down the street to pick their little ones up for another school year. These parents share the life lessons they’ve learned over the years. Take them in, they could end up helping you.

You Have To Start Preparing Them For Back To School Early

james breakwell tweet six year old tell them im busy and cant go back to school
Photo Credit: Twitter / @XplodingUnicorn
Photo Credit: Twitter / @XplodingUnicorn

As much as kids try to pretend school isn’t creeping any closer, their parents are counting down pretty much from the moment summer starts. James here was obviously ready for school to start back up not long after the Fourth of July festivities, but his six-year-old wasn’t having it.

It turns out, kids these days have an answer to all the questions we were too afraid to ask. Who knew staying home and catching up on your 147th rewatch of Moana was on the table?

You Have To Keep Yourself Hydrated

sarcastic mommy tweet wine that pairs with back to school shopping
Photo Credit: Twitter / @sarcasticmommy4
Photo Credit: Twitter / @sarcasticmommy4

Anyone who has ever had to go back to school shopping, whether they’re a parent or a child, knows how frustrating it is. There are new pants to try on, new pencil cases to buy, and brand new headaches that a pre-teen brings to the table as they go through puberty.

This mom understands all the struggles she’s about to go through and is just looking for a little somethin’ somethin’ to take the edge off. It’s a whole mood, and we’re here for it.

You Have To Accept Your Wallet Is Going To Take A Hit

dad struggling during back to school shopping
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

This is the face of a father whose child just went through a growth spurt in time for back to school shopping season. He has a handful of brand new clothes that are going to cost an arm and a leg, and his kid is probably going to grow out of them by Christmas.

The biggest problem with the end of summer is how you just got through going on all those vacations (which don’t come cheap) and now have to make sure your kid has a brand new look to impress their friends.

You Have To Support Your Fellow Parent

just linda tweet back to school high fiving in target
Photo Credit: Twitter / @LindaInDisguise
Photo Credit: Twitter / @LindaInDisguise

There are few things parents get to band together and enjoy. For every parent at Disney World laughing with their family and taking pictures with Cinderella, there is another who is having an absolute meltdown as their kid is crying after spending 90 minutes in line for Splash Mountain.

So when you go back to school shopping, try to take the edge off the fact you’re about to spend a small fortune on school supplies. Instead, just enjoy knowing that your kid is almost out of the house.

You Have To Protect Your Territory

mamabirddiaries tweet catching someone stealing school supplies
Photo Credit: Twitter / @mamabirddiaries
Photo Credit: Twitter / @mamabirddiaries

As much as we all want to break out in song and dance as we prepare to pack our kids off to school for another year, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. There are thousands of other parents out there buying the same new pair of pants, and every mom or dad out there has heard of the brand new (insert random ‘cool’ school supply) that your kid just HAS to have.

As much as we want every parent to enjoy this time, you have to make sure that your kid is properly prepared for the school year.

You Have To Plan Ahead If You Want To Pinch Every Penny

girl wearing giant bag back to school
Photo Credit: Reddit / funkybrunch907
Photo Credit: Reddit / funkybrunch907

The biggest question every parent has to ask themselves is ‘how quickly will they grow out of this?’ As frustrating as it is to admit, most parents have picked up that slightly too large outfit just to make sure that they don’t have to come back for another wardrobe makeover once their kid shoots up three inches in a month.

This parent knew that this little girl might not be getting a ton of homework today, but grade 4 is just a couple years away and homework time is about to get real.

You Have To Know When To Draw The Line

anniemumary tweet its a no from me
Photo Credit: Twitter / @AnniemuMary
Photo Credit: Twitter / @AnniemuMary

Kids might think that going back to school shopping is a way to update their wardrobe and try out a brand new look, but parents know that ultimately, they have the final say.

It’s important for your kid to discover who they are and figure out what their identity is, but how many of us have looked back at our old yearbooks and wondered ‘why did my parents let me out of the house like that?’ Maybe kids should listen to their parents every now and then.

You Have To Remember What It Was Like When You Were A Kid

that mom tweet about being happy her kid is going back to school
Photo Credit: Twitter / @ThatMom9
Photo Credit: Twitter / @ThatMom9

It’s really important that you at least pretend to feel for your kid as they prepare to go back to school. Remember when you were off of school for the summer months and you and your friends would go to the park or down to the pool and life was just so much simpler?

Well, now that you’re a parent, you should understand that your kid might not be pumped about going back to school, even if they spent the entire summer on their phone and never felt like they were away from their friends the entire time.

You Have To Accept You Have One Of Two Types Of Kids

two types of kids on the first day of school
Photo Credit: Reddit / xMudxCrabx
Photo Credit: Reddit / xMudxCrabx

As much as we assume our kids are ready to have a breakdown before even setting foot on that school bus, always remember that there are actually some kids out there that are excited to go back to school! It might be because they miss their friends, they’re bored of being in the house all day, or maybe they just actually like learning!

However, most kids are probably more like the little boy having a serious crisis on the ground as his parents attempt to get him ready for another school year. You’re one child or the other, there is no in between.

You Have To Try To Contain Your Excitement

mom jumping for joy as kids go back to school
Photo Credit: Reddit / smorensamm
Photo Credit: Reddit / smorensamm

The build-up to back to school day is exhausting. Kids are panicking as they try to get every last moment of summer out of their system, and parents are ready to explode with excitement at the idea they’ll finally have their house to themselves again during the day.

This mom saw her calendar flip over and nearly did a flip for joy herself when she saw her kids lined up in their school uniforms.

You Have To Capture That First Day Of School Struggle In Their Eyes

Parents-happy for their kids first day of school
Photo Credit: Imgur / BeardedWonder82
Photo Credit: Imgur / BeardedWonder82

Kids grow up so fast, so it’s important to capture every moment, both the good and the not so good. A picture like this can bring back a ton of memories, like when your kid had that certain haircut or the year you received that old bathrobe you’d wear out to the bus stop.

These first day of school photos really capture the moment and the emotion everyone is going through. While the kids don’t seem too excited, the parents can’t wait to hop back in bed for a couple extra Zzz’s.

You Have To Keep The Tradition Alive

kid holding help me! back to school photo
Photo Credit: Reddit / ChaRoCai
Photo Credit: Reddit / ChaRoCai

Sure, these back to school photos might be a little corny, but if you’re the kind of parent who gets a kick out of them, you have to embrace it and keep the tradition alive.

Clearly, these parents are off to a good start and have written proof that they’ll be keeping this yearly tradition going for the next 11 years. This kid doesn’t look too pleased, but he also doesn’t look too surprised his parents have him holding up this sign.

You Have To Treat All Your Kids Equally

entire family holding back to school signs
Photo Credit: Reddit / grux9
Photo Credit: Reddit / grux9

Once you have more than one child, you start to see the patterns that arise as a parent. The moment you give your firstborn a “first day of school” sign, you have to do it with all of them. Even the ones who aren’t at school just yet.

What you also might not know is that dad has to partake in the annual tradition as well. You can see how everyone’s happiness goes down as the years start coming but they don’t stop coming.

You Have To Take Time To Celebrate

mom and dad celebrate their kids going back to school
Photo Credit : Imgur / Smokerson
Photo Credit : Imgur / Smokerson

It’s a parent’s duty to provide for their young ones and make sure they get the proper upbringing they need to survive in this crazy world, but it’s also their duty to celebrate when they finally get a little bit of peace and quiet to themselves.

These parents couldn’t even wait for their kids to get fully on the bus before breaking out the mimosas…or is that just orange juice? It doesn’t matter, let them have this moment.

You Have To Keep That Same Energy For Day Two

boy posing for first day of school vs second
Photo Credit : Reddit / Epicbulb
Photo Credit : Reddit / Epicbulb

As excited as you or your kid might be when back to school hits, it’s important to keep that energy going for as long as possible. You can’t start to pout that you missed them all day now that they’re back at school, and your kid has to get over the fact that summer’s over.

This young man actually looked pretty excited for his first day of school, but by the end of day two, he was already over it.

You Have To Support Them On Their Journey

permission slip just to get money from dad
Photo Credit: Twitter / @lostlyrics96
Photo Credit: Twitter / @lostlyrics96

If there’s one thing that no one taught us, it’s that field trips are worth every penny. Everybody wins when the class goes on a field trip. The teachers can throw away their lesson plan for the day, the kids have something exciting to talk about when they come home from school, and the parents… well, the parents can trust that they won’t have the one kid who ruins the trip for everyone else.

This student learned that most parents don’t even read the permission slip they have to sign but still went to the trouble just to get an extra $25 in their pocket. I think we all learned something with this one.

You Have To Make Sure They Stand Out Amongst Their Peers

1st day names of gen z kids
Photo Credit: Twitter
Photo Credit: Twitter

Every parent dreams of that first day of school where all of their responsibilities just wash away as that school bus drives off, but none of us think of the teachers. Sure, we all get caught up in the fact that they had the summer off too, but they’re also stuck with our kids for 9 months out of the year, so they deserve the break.

What we often forget though is that on that first day, teachers must be dreading trying to pronounce some of the ‘creative’ names we come up with now.

You Have To Feel For The Teachers Out There

selfie with teacher while shes having contractions
Photo Credit: Twitter
Photo Credit: Twitter

Along with trying to remember all of the new names and faces that are coming through their classroom, teachers also have to put their own lives on hold to help educate the next generation. Frankly, that sounds like a daunting task, and adding smartphones in the classroom has not made it any easier.

This teacher was hoping she could make it through another day before starting her maternity leave, but clearly, that just wasn’t in the cards. Luckily, she’ll always have this picture to commemorate it.

You Have To Trust That Your Kid Is Putting Their Best Foot Forward

meghaniade tweet why do dogs and cats not get along
Photo Credit: Twitter / @meghanjade_
Photo Credit: Twitter / @meghanjade_

It’s easy to sit back and wonder what your six-year-old is doing on their first day of grade one, but it’s completely different when your firstborn finally leaves the house and heads off for college or university. You have to trust that they’re getting a good night’s sleep and are attending at least 60% of their classes.

This mom has all the faith in the world that their child is studying hard and getting all their homework done, but it looks like they might just be having an existential crisis. At least they’re awake before noon.

You Have To Accept Them For Who They Are

chatting with police first day of school
Photo Credit: Imgur / sewallman
Photo Credit: Imgur / sewallman

As much as we want to help shape our children into outstanding members of society, once they head off to college, their future is in their own hands. Some will grow up to be doctors or lawyers, and others will find out that they have a way with words and can talk themselves into pretty much anything.

This guy found out the hard way that he can get along with pretty much anyone and knows his sense of humor is worth at least a couple likes on Twitter.