School-age

Parents, cancel your back-to-school celebration this Friday night

Your wee student made it through the first week of school! Still, a celebratory dinner is in no one’s best interests. Here’s why.

The end of the first week of school is definitely something to be noted and celebrated. For kids, shifting from their relaxed summer routine spent mostly with their parents to suddenly being back in class, with new faces and new expectations, can be a lot—and making it to the end of Friday on the first week back relatively unscathed can feel like a pretty big milestone. That’s why many parents’ inclination is to make a fun plan for their kiddos on Friday to mark the end of the first week. Maybe you’ve made reservations for a celebration dinner, or intend to hit the local ice cream parlour or the community pool.

Here’s the thing: Maybe don’t. Maybe cancel those plans, or at least postpone them.

In theory, the idea to cap off a high-emotion week with fun activities is lovely and clearly comes from an extremely sweet place. But the problem is, it’s more than likely going to end in a meltdown. If you’ve made such a plan, your best bet is to cancel it immediately. So says one mom’s PSA on Facebook, which has gone super viral. Have a look:

 

“Your Friday night plans after the first week of school need to involve a couch, some blankets, a pizza, and a movie,” says Jen Hatmaker. “That is it.”

She’s got some pretty good reasons for suggesting you keep it chill. Remember all of that stuff you were worrying about when you were packing your kid’s bag that first week? Now imagine being that kid trying to navigate this entirely new world of constant stimulation (teachers, other kids, a new classroom, new learning, so much playing). It would be a lot for anyone, but especially a tiny person.

“They are: D O N E,” says Hatmaker. “They are exhausted after their summer of being sloth children who now have to think and pay attention for seven hours a day. Plus, first week of school emotions. Plus, change. Plus, new scenarios and teachers and students and schedules. Plus, that one mean girl. Plus, figuring out where to sit at lunch. Plus, all the new rules. Plus, recess politics. Plus, homework. Plus, did their clothes/shoes/hair/backpack fit in right. Plus, the bus. Plus, they learned the F word on the playground and everything feels weird.”

So what are you supposed to do to mark the end of that first eventful week? Keep it simple.

“Trust your friend Jen: couch, blanket, pizza, movie. That’s your plan. Cancel everything else. You’re welcome.”

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.