Four words I really don't like: Summer is winding down.
Three words I really like: Back to school!

Getting back into a routine and jumping on some new habits will help ease into the new norm. As a parent, here's a few tips my wife and I have found helpful:

1. Zombie mornings really suck. For kids, and mom and dad. Those are the early mornings when the alarm goes off way too early and the littlest things will set off your kids. Like "Why is the syrup way over there?" "She's looking at me funny!" and "My homework isn't in my backpack, mom!" Avoid these kind of mornings by easing into the new schedule before school begins for the year. Of course, there will always be the little tantrums in the mornings but it really is amazing how much a lot of these can be alleviated by a good night's sleep.

2. Back to school shopping is expensive. Even if you don't subscribe to a newspaper any longer it might be worth picking up a Sunday edition to go through the flyers and check out some of the savings ads and coupons. Most of these coupons are locally exclusive and are not available online.

3. If you're little wizard is always losing or misplacing their backpack, your not alone. You may want to consider getting an electronic tracker, such as Tile or Cube. Attach one to the backpack or school-issued laptop and connect it to your phone via Bluetooth. We have 3 and they really do work.

4. You remember how many times throughout the summer you have reminded the kids to watch their screen time? Now is the time to really enforce that. With a new routine comes a perfect time to set tech limits and stick with them. Homework will always be more important than video games or SnapChat - even if they disagree with you.

Here's wishing all parents and kids a very happy and safe school year!