Canadian parents are using a range of strategies to help reduce the stress of the back-to-school season on both themselves and their kids, a new poll finds.
Three quarters of parents do their back-to-school shopping early, with an increasing number (21 per cent) getting it out of the way in June or July to avoid the last-minute scramble, according to a new survey by Ebates.ca.
And 89 per cent of parents agree that they actually enjoy the back-to-school season if they have their shopping done early.
The poll looked at the buying habits and sentiments of Canadians on back-to-school, one of the largest retail events of the year.
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“Summer is such a short season in Canada and making the transition from the break can be stressful for everyone,” said Ebates.ca VP of marketing and resident shopping expert Belinda Baugniet.
“Parents see the advantages of plan-ahead strategies like getting their back-to-school shopping done and out of the way and finding clever ways to save.”
Given that expense is the number one stressor for parents, the majority (80 per cent) look for deals to save money on back-to-school shopping and 61 per cent create a budget, while 42 per cent shop online to reduce the hassle.
And when it comes to what they think is most stressful for the kids, parents responded that having homework (27 per cent), waking up early (25 per cent) and not fitting in with other kids (21 per cent) topped the list.
Stress-reducing strategies for them include getting kids back to their school sleep routine well before school starts (77 per cent), keeping kids’ minds engaged during the summer with books/activities (74 per cent) and celebrating the end of summer with BBQ’s or special outings so the kids don’t feel so sad (59 per cent).
Keeping the kids engaged, whether in a routine or in the planning and shopping process, can also help ease them back into school mode.
The majority (94 per cent) of Canadian parents say they do things to include their kids in the shopping process, for example bringing them along when buying in-store (70 per cent), letting them help pick out products (68 per cent), helping with the shopping list (60 per cent) and participating in online shopping (27 per cent).
Nearly half (41 per cent) of parents are also starting good financial habits by making their kids aware of the budget, while 22 per cent have them help keep track of the budget.
Most parents say their kids help out around the house during the school year, from picking their own clothes for school (83 per cent), packing their own backpack/school bag (77 per cent), helping with chores around the house (73 per cent), making their own breakfast on school mornings (50 per cent) and packing their school lunch (42 per cent).
Keeping to similar routines during the summer also helps smooth the transition when the school year starts.
This can also help teach good savings habits, as 54 per cent of parents whose kids help out with chores around the house give them an allowance, which is used for a range of purposes from buying fun things (81 per cent) to savings (56 per cent) and/or helping out with items for school (23 per cent).
Have you started shopping for school yet?