Determining back to school traditions in a blended family can be tough, but it’s not impossible.
Earlier this week, our blended family attended my oldest stepdaughter’s 1st Grade back to school night. While we were there, the first-day drop-off came up in conversation.
Last year, the first and last day of school drop-offs fell on her Mom’s mornings, and my husband and I did not tag along. What was nice is that her Mom took these cute “First Day of School” and “Last Day of School” pictures that she shared with us. As someone who takes pictures of the kids (and the dog) daily, I really cherish these pictures.
This year, the first day of school falls on our morning. When my husband mentioned to the teacher that he would likely not park and walk her in- since the parking lot will undoubtedly be a chaotic mess- her Mom chimed in by saying, “But, you’re going to take a picture, right?!” Honestly, I hadn’t even thought of it. But she’s right… we definitely need to take a “First Day of 1st Grade” picture… and here’s why!
Traditions can be many things in blended families, most often being two sets of different traditions between the two homes. Due to scheduling, miscommunication, and sometimes egos, it can be difficult to make even the smallest tradition sustain between both homes. What may seem trivial to many- the first day of school picture tradition- may be a really big deal to my stepdaughter’s mom. For that reason, I’m going to make sure the picture happens.
Regardless of what terms your husband and his ex are on, it’s important to maintain focus on the kids during milestones, such as the start of a new school year. Whenever parents- step or not- are able to maintain any form of consistency or tradition to celebrate the kids, it is important they pull through and do it.
Start the Year Off Right with Back to School Traditions
If you’re interested in the idea of back to school traditions but are unsure of where to start, I’ve compiled a list of ideas for simple traditions for kids of all ages, which may be able to stand the test between two homes.
1. First [and last] day of school pictures
2. A thoughtful handwritten note in the student’s agenda (can be short and sweet- “Good luck this year!”) or on a napkin in a packed lunch
3. Fix the same “Recipe for Success” breakfast the first morning
4. Find out what they’re planning to wear the first day, then wear the same color shirt as them for good luck! (The perfect way to embarrass your preteens, too)
5. Fix the same snack to send with the student
6. Big Family Takeover! Have the whole family meet and walk the student into class together on the first day
7. Take them to their favorite ice cream spot after school to celebrate
8. Morning FaceTime with Mom or Dad (whomever they are not with that morning) for good luck and extra blessings
9. Make a game! Example: If they introduce themselves to each of their teachers and get them to initial on their agenda, you will take them to the movies that weekend
10. For kids with long hair, give them a special first day of school hairstyle! (Bonus points for getting them a new back-to-school haircut prior to the first day)
11. Make them a new playlist and upload it to their music device
12. Start bargaining now. For example, “If you have all As on your first report card, we will pay for your gas until the next report card (where the same deal will apply).”
Do you have any different back to school traditions?! If so, we would love to hear them in the comments!
If you are interested in back-to-school pictures, we have compiled these FREE TEMPLATES for you to print and use! When you use your template on the first day, make sure to tag us @Stepmomming on Facebook or on Instagram.
P.S. If you’re hesitant about going to the school together, here’s my advice on how to see the ex without breaking a sweat.