Managing your business and your children becomes especially challenging at the start of the school year.
Why? Getting your kids back in their school routine after three months of summer often requires extra effort. Roughly half of working parents report that stress related to the making back-to-school transition is so bad that it interferes with their work.
That's according to a survey conducted by Care.com, an online marketplace that connects caregivers with families in need of childcare, pet care or senior care. More than 40 percent of respondents said they arrive at work late and leave early during the back-to-school season. So aside from preparing your child's breakfast and lunch the night before, how do you prevent your business from suffering when the school year starts back up? Here are three tips from Care.com co-founder Donna Levin, who is also vice president of the company's employer benefits division, Workplace Solutions.
1. Teach your kids to help out.
Incentivize your children to do things like get dressed and clean up their rooms by a certain time by offering an appropriate reward. "The sticker chart is not dead," Levin says. "It should make a strong comeback in most households."
2. Split responsibilities with your partner.
Levin advises parents to figure out which tasks play to their strengths, and delegate responsibilities accordingly. "I'm great with meal prep but I'm a disaster when it comes to laundry," Levin says. "Divide and conquer." For single parents, tackling the hardest tasks the night before is a good way to prevent overly stressful mornings.
3. Have back-up support ready.
When plans change at the last minute or you have an early morning meeting, it pays to have friends or family that can help lend a hand. "I'm a huge believer that it really does take a village," Levin says, adding that neighbors with children at the same school as your children can be a good source of back-up support.