Just in case

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With school just a few weeks away, you are most likely wrapping up your shopping and marking items off your to-do list. You feel confident that you will send your child back to class with everything they need. After all, you’re organized and super-responsible, right? What could go wrong?

Unfortunately, we always get thrown the curveballs when we feel our most prepared. Maybe, then, you need to be over-prepared when your children go back; be two steps ahead when ‘disaster’ strikes (because a dead phone battery certainly qualifies as a full-blown emergency to a teenager). To that end, we’ve created a ‘just in case’ list that you might want to take with you when you’re out buying the last few things.

Batteries. Get all sizes, from the small CR 2032s to the AAs and AAAs, and even the Ds and 9-volts. You never know when a calculator will die or a wristwatch goes on the blink. Tuck a few into the front pockets of their book bags and you will be a hero.

Phone Charger. For around $20 you can find a small external charger for your child’s phone. It’s also easy to tuck into a backpack.

Band aids. These are great for older kids to keep in their locker. Paper cuts are annoying but even more so when you need a bandage and don’t have one.

Hand Sanitizer. Keeping your kids stocked with hand sanitizer might eliminate the next winter cold. And that would be helpful for everyone in the family.

Hair accoutrements. Girls never know if they want their hair up or down before leaving the house. Give them an extra brush and a package of rubber bands, bobby pins, and clips and the stress won’t be yours.

An extra change of clothes. Paint accident in art class? Ketchup disaster in the lunch room? No worries. Send an extra set of clothes to keep in a cubby or locker and no one will die of embarrassment before the last bell rings.

Post-it Notes. Especially if your child is visual, using sticky notes will help them to remember tasks and keep them organized. You can never have too many post-its lying around.

Chapstick. So small and versatile yet so easy to lose. Buy a multi-pack.

Ahem, feminine products. Enough said.

Empty water bottle. Older kids, especially, can benefit from filling up a water bottle at the beginning of the day and keeping it in their locker. No one has ever said that drinking water is bad for you.

Extra flash drives. You probably remember the days of ‘floppy’ disks. Man, how times have changed! Flash drives hold 100 times more data and are relatively cheap. There are plenty you can buy for under $10. Of course that doesn’t solve the problem of the lost flash drive with the term paper saved on it. . .

Extra project supplies. You know you’ll need them and it will always be at 10pm when your child realizes he/she has a project due the next day. Head the debacle off at the pass now and stock up on poster board, construction paper, glue sticks, note cards, spiral notebooks, pens, pencils, and markers.

Money. Obviously don’t go overboard on this one because they’ll inevitably just spend it. Maybe secretly hide it in their book bag. Because if a situation does arise where they need cash, you will be OMG, The.Best.Parent.Ever. when you tell them where the stash is.

Remember, over-preparing doesn’t have to mean overspending. But if you’re lucky, the appreciation you’ll receive from your children will be overflowing.

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