Creative Child

The Back-to-School List You Can’t Buy in Stores

by Rebecca Eanes

Another summer is coming to an end. Back-to-school items are bursting out of shelves everywhere. Backpacks, notebooks, pencils, calculators, you can find all the material necessities to get your child ready for the new school year, but there are some things your child needs before the first day of school that money can’t buy. Below is a list of skills that will help make your child’s school year successful.


We want our children to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. We want them to confidently communicate their ideas and feelings. These are skills that can be taught which will help our children to be more successful in their personal and, one day, professional lives. Assertiveness helps kids build confidence, healthy relationships, and self-esteem. Assertiveness isn’t bossiness or aggression. It isn’t being demanding without considering the feelings of others. Assertiveness is the ability to create boundaries and advocate for oneself. To teach your child to be assertive:

  1. Model assertiveness. When you create a boundary and hold it with empathy, you are modeling assertiveness. When you state what you need from your child in a respectful way, you’re modeling assertiveness. When you speak up at the restaurant that your order is wrong but you do so showing respect and kindness, you model assertiveness.


  1. Give your child choices. Allowing her to choose her own hairstyle or clothing teaches her that her voice matters. Of course, children can’t always make their own decisions or they’d have chips and fruit snacks for dinner, but giving them control where you can will help them build this skill.


  1. Teach your child to speak up. Role-playing is a great way to teach assertiveness skills because you can practice what words to say and the tone in which to say them. Practice this several times a week until your child feels comfortable with it.

Find more examples of assertiveness here and learn more tips for teaching your child this skill here.



Children who can solve problems and think outside the box possess a valuable skill as this helps them cope with the problems they will face. This skill takes time to develop, and young children need a lot of help from their parents. Yet, as children get older, we should allow them to take more control over their problems. This builds creativity, persistence, and confidence.

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