10 Tips to make Back-to-School a breeze

Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, meaning it’s time for many students in Western New York to head back to school. Instead of letting all the changes disrupt everything, try these 10 tips that can help make going back to school a breeze!

1. Determine your routine

Before you can iron out the rest of the details, you need to determine what your routine is going to look like. Start with what you know – your schedule and your kids schedules – and work from that. Once you have a basic idea, you can add other pieces in and figure out the the planner/schedule that works for you.

2. Establish a family calendar

Using a family calendar is a great way to keep track of what everyone is doing through the week and/or month, depending on the style you choose. Don’t just write the events – schedule a meeting each week to go over them with everyone.

3. Set up screen time rules

This might be something you keep all year long, but if you’ve been less strict over the summer, now is the time to bring back restrictions. Set boundaries with your children about how often they can be on their devices and make sure you take them out of their rooms at night to remove temptation.

4. Keep to a bedtime and wake up schedule

Sleep routines are easily maintained with consistent times when you go to bed and wake up. Set a schedule for both weekdays and weekends so your children develop a rhythm that will promote more restful sleep habits.

5. Don’t overschedule

With everything new going on, it’s easy to say yes to everything and lose out on valuable family time. Refer to your calendar and routine to make sure something is feasible before agreeing – periods of rest are important for family members of all ages.

6. Get ready the night before

Another great habit to get your kids into is preparing for school the night before. Teach them how to pick out their clothes and pack their bag and lunch. This will make the morning go smoothly and help them learn organization and planning skills.

7. Talk to your kids about going back to school

Get a read on how your kids feel about going back to school. Some may be forthright in their worries and excitement, but others might need some encouragement. Learn about their anxieties and help quell them where possible.

8. Take care of yourself

In the hustle and bustle of managing the lives of your children, it might get easier to forget about yourself. Self-care is one of the best ways to keep you high-functioning because it allows you time to pause and think about your own needs as well instead of getting overwhelmed and burnt out.

9. Choose afterschool activities

While you don’t want to add too many activities in, finding at least one or two can be invaluable for your children. From the skills they learn to the fun they’ll have, it’s a nice way to keep them involved.

Of course, our number one recommendation for girls is Girl Scouts 🙂

10. Find more resources from Girl Scouts

As the school year progresses, you might want more resources about dealing with particular issues. Whether you want more back-to-school tips or help raising awesome girls, they have an amazing library of articles to help you!

You can still win a Target gift card!

So far two lucky members of the Girl Scouts of Western New York have won $25 Target gift cards just by renewing their membership for the 2018-19 year! If you haven’t renewed yet, what are you waiting for? We still have two gift cards to give away, plus awesome prizes all through September!

2018 Registration Incentives

Thinking you missed out by renewing in the spring? Think again! Everyone who’s already re-registered for next year is eligible to win. Even if you renewed months ago, your name is still in the drawing to win each week!

Don’t delay, renew today!

Talking to Your Children About Violence at School

Today, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., returned for the new school year almost six months to the day since a shooter opened fire on them. For many, August marks the return to school and a season that’s usually filled with excitement about the coming year. Due to recent violent events, this time might instead be filled with fear and anxiety.

Unfortunately, gun violence in the United States has become an all too common occurrence. During the 2017-18 school year, there were more than 30 shootings in or around schools. Roughly this translates to a shooting per week. Only a few stand out in our minds, like Parkland and Santa Fe, because so many lost their lives.

As an adult, seeing these events unfold is both challenging and heartbreaking. We think about the little ones we love and how we would feel if that happened in our school. We try to process our feelings while staying positive. We ask how anyone could do this and hug our children, nieces, nephews, and friends a little tighter.

Inevitably, our children will have questions too.

Even if their screen time is limited, it’s likely they still have some awareness of what’s going on. Active shooter training and drills are increased at school and they hear about the tragedies in passing. To help you have these difficult conversations, GSUSA shared an article with some tips to assist you in your home that can be used at your discretion.

1. Admit what she saw was real

In an effort to protect younger ones, your inclination might be to tell them it came from a movie and didn’t actually happen. Resist this urge and help build their trust by being honest.

2. Let her lead the conversation

Ask her open-ended questions about what she saw and heard and focus on listening.

3. Provide stability

Kids thrive on routine and it shouldn’t be disrupted just because it may seem like to her (and you), the world is falling apart. Make an effort to keep mealtimes and bedtimes the same so they have some level of consistency.

4. Don’t be alarmed by some regression

Your child may request the light stays on while they sleep or might even wet the bed. Don’t let the frustrations get the best of you – remember that this a normal thing.

5. Practice self-care

In order to be stable for your child, you need to be stable for yourself. Make sure you’re managing your anxiety instead of spreading fear.

6. Know you can reach out

Sometimes we all need a little more help. Don’t be afraid to seek additional assistance from a professional.

For the full list, check out GSUSA’s blog.

New Year, New Girl Scout Membership

We know it’s not technically the new year, but it almost is for us! Our membership year runs October through September, so we’re about to say farewell to 2017-18 and hello to 2018-19.

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If you’re unsure of whether Girl Scouts is the right option, let us give you confidence. There are a lot of opportunities for your girl, but we offer so much more. She won’t just walk away knowing how to do one type of thing; she’ll have a variety of skills that enable her to choose whatever path in life she desires.

You know us for our delicious cookies and all the fun we have, but did you know how passionate we are about making sure your girl becomes a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, risk-taker, innovator, leader)? We mean it when we say we build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out really stories from current Girl Scouts, alumna, and Women of Distinction as they explain what Girl Scouts means to them. We like to call it The Girl Scout Difference. Join today and discover the difference it will make for you.

Already a member? Renew today for your chance to win awesome incentives!

Unleash Strong! Be a Girl Scout.

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The Fourth of July feels the peak of summer fun, but fall is right around the corner. You can even see it in stores . Despite school not starting for more than a month, the back to school sections are popping up. Pool toys are being swapped out for classroom supplies and the bus will be rolling down the street sooner than you’d like.

When school begins, so do the never ending extracurricular activities. At times, it can feel like every night is booked. It’s easy to cut certain programs you don’t feel are as valuable. Unfortunately, Girl Scouts is one that doesn’t always make the cut.

The case for Girl Scouts

You want your girl to succeed in her life, whatever it may look like. You want her to opportunities to shape her own future. While a number of activities can help her, none partner along side of her quite like Girl Scouts.

At Girl Scouts of Western New York, we’re dedicated to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. When your girl joins a troop, she isn’t just signing up to do arts and crafts and sell cookies. She’s joining a sisterhood where she can be her own person and make a difference in her community.

We believe in the inclusive, all-girl environment and have the research for why it matters for you girl. This helps us create a safe space for her to try new things, develop new skills, take on leadership roles, and work toward earning the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.

What we do

At Girl Scouts, your girl will have the opportunity to experience new adventures while giving back. All of our programming focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the outdoors, like skills, and entrepreneurship.

Bottom line, we know this is a man’s world, but we want to help your daughter reshape it for herself and generations to come.

Why it matters

More than just what we offer, we have proven results. Women who were Girl Scouts are more successful, enjoy higher incomes, are active volunteers, and vote more regularly.

Half of all female business leaders are Girl Scout alums. More than 70 percent of female U.S. Senators were in Girl Scouts. Every former female Secretary of State are Girl Scout alums.

Unleash strong!

Become a Girl Scout this fall and see the difference it can make for yourself. Join Girl Scouts today!