The transition from summer fun to school rules can stress out kids and parents alike. Take our quiz to see what your future holds: happy days or high blood pressure!

1. Your children want to stay up late to watch their favorite TV show. School starts in a few days and you’re already worried about getting them up in the morning. They argue, rather convincingly, that it will be nine months before they can stay up this late again. You:
a. Give in and let them have one last night of fun.
b. Enforce bedtime and endure the grumbling.

2. Your 11-year-old wants to buy a velour hoodie to wear to school—it’s the latest fashion trend among her friends. You don’t care for it, and you care even less for the designer price tag. You:
a. Tell her to buy something more appropriate.
b. Buy the hoodie; you want her to fit in.
c. Tell her she can have it, but she’ll have to forgo some other items on her list.

3. You’ve heard that your child’s teacher for the coming year is a real disciplinarian. You:
a. Warn him so that he’ll be on his best behavior.
b. Say nothing; he’ll find out soon enough.

4. Last year it was always a battle to get your child to do her homework. This year, you resolve that things will be different. What’s likely to be the best long-term approach?
a. Set a family quiet time, to be observed whether there's homework or not.
b. Take away her cell phone for a week anytime homework isn’t turned in.
c. Keep yelling; you have to stay on top of her.

5. Your 1st grader is nervous about the first day of school and has been acting out in a way you’re sure is stress-related. You:
a. Tell him to toughen up; none of the other kids are acting this way.
b. Take him to visit his new classroom.
c. Promise to stay with him for the first morning.

6. Your child often has trouble with math. The best time to assess how he’s doing is:
a. When report cards come out.
b. At the parent-teacher conference.
c. Neither.

7. Research shows that children whose parents get involved in their education tend to earn better grades, score higher on standardized tests, and have fewer discipline problems. Which of these is an effective way to get involved?
a. Talk with your child about school.
b. Help her understand her homework.
c. Attend school events.
d. Join the parent group.

Answers and More Information

  1. B. Sorry, kids. Experts recommend easing children into a school schedule during the week before school starts. The all-or-nothing approach can leave them tired, grumpy, and not ready to learn when the first days finally arrive.
    More on eating, sleeping, and learning

  2. C. For tweens and teens especially, fashion is a social statement. That doesn't mean letting your child dress however she wants, but it's important to let her (or him) make some of the key choices. One way is to budget for school clothes.
    More on school clothes compromises

  3. B. Reinforcing negative stereotypes can make your child apprehensive and can interfere with the teacher’s ability to do her job. Instead, contact the teacher and tell her about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, parents and teachers act as a team. Opening a line of communication is a key starting point.
    More on communicating with the teacher

  4. A. Modeling proper behavior for your child makes a difference. Read, balance your checkbook, or do work you’ve brought home from the office while she’s doing homework. Enforcing a consistent homework time every day reduces a child’s temptation to “forget” that he has any.
    More on homework

  5. B. Back-to-school stress often comes from fear of the unknown. Visiting the classroom, meeting the teacher, finding the bus stop or walking the route to school, even scheduling a play date with someone who will be in your child’s class can help.
    More on getting ready

  6. C. Report cards are milestones, and quarterly conferences offer direct feedback from the teacher. But don’t wait for these if your child is struggling. Most teachers are happy to engage in regular communication, often through notes or email, when parents show they want to help.
    More on assessing progress

  7. A, B, C, D. Trick question—they’re all good. Helping your child at home shows your child you value education. Attending school events like family nights and concerts, and volunteering with the parent group (PTO/PTA) draws an important link between home and school in your child’s eyes.
    More on getting involved


Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?

Yes - 31.6%
Sometimes - 25.4%
No - 37.4%

Total votes: 4919
The voting for this poll has ended on: June 25, 2016