THE BLOG
09/04/2013 06:35 pm ET Updated Nov 04, 2013

Back to School, Rules!

Back to School, Rules!

Come on, shout it out loud with your best heavy-metal, wanna be rock star voice, "Back to School, Rules!" For us, the kids have already been in school for two weeks and for the first time ever, I am beyond happy about it. As a working mom, my kids used to spend the summers going to camps, having their auntie watch them and having playdates with friends. This summer was the first real summer where we were all home, together! Yes, be careful what you wish for definitely applies to our summer adventures. Don't get me wrong, it's been a blessing to be able to work from home and have extra time with them during their summer break. But after the first week, this mama was looking to sign up for a camp too: Camp Mama Wanna Getaway! My daughters had a love-hate thing going on; the baby boy went from crawling to walking to getting into anything and everything; and as the CEO (that's Chief Everything Officer) of my own business, I tried to carve out early mornings, afternoons during nap time and late nights just to get my work done. So, after a very long, hot summer (triple digit temps are the norm for us!), I am so grateful that the energy of fall is in the air. And with Labor Day weekend, the grand finale of summer behind us, I thought I'd share some simple "rules" to help your child rule this school year:

Do take time to meet your child's teacher. Remember, first impressions are important. Take time to make eye contact, shake hands, find your child's desk and even take that picture (if your child will still let you). Get to know their teacher and their teaching pattern. It will help you and your student have a great school year.

Don't buy ALL of the crazy school supplies from pencils to wacky erasers until you get the list from your child's teacher. Each teacher has a different list and usually you can go hit the stores after school has started with less lines and even save some money too.

Do pack a lunch with your kids the night before. OK, this may be a no-brainer, but not only does it makes for an easier morning, it also opens up conversation that you don't have the time for at 7:55 a.m. when you're running out the door! My girls and I have fun dialog about what's in their lunch and what other kids at school have in their lunches. Oh, and write a note to put in their lunch box. Sappy, but still appreciated, even by the sixth grader!

Don't be late to school. Again, a no-brainer, but it's not your kids' fault if you're the one who gets them there past the bell and has to get a tardy slip. No one wants to start the day already behind, so make every effort to always be on time.

Do volunteer. Get involved with your school's PTC, PTO, PTA whatever the initials, just do it! Whether you can volunteer at several events or just one, it all adds up to making memorable moments for your student and your school.

Don't let the stress of your day take over theirs. Unplug! I make it a rule to unplug and hold all work communication (i.e. texts, emails, calls) for 30 minutes when we get home after school. I know it's easier said than done, but it allows for us to connect and sets the stage for a much better evening. Plus, when they sit down to do homework, you can do your work too.

Do take your child out to lunch or bring a special lunch and share it together. Even if you just do this once, it will leave a lasting impression. I like to do this for their birthdays and sometimes I surprise them and we ask one of their friends to join us.

And finally, don't try to be supermom or superdad or super whatever, just be you! Be genuine, volunteer when you can, donate items when you can and participate in school events when you can. It comes down to quality time over quantity. The school year will fly by and before you know it, your child will be off to the next grade and the next journey. Embrace this school year and "rule it" with your child, together!