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Back to School--A Parent's Perspective

Following on Emma's post about returning to school, I thought I'd write about "Back to School" from one parent's perspective. My absolute favorite thing about summer is no homework. Zilch, nada, zero. Summer evenings are less tense because we are out of the "get your homework done, eat dinner, go to swim practice, shower, go to bed" frenzy. On the other hand, the kids were binging on Netflix and made it to the seventh season of Supernatural. I am not proud of that. I LOVE back to school shopping--all that promise with clean binders, new pens, folders, and the promise of a new school year. Everything is bright and new, and as Emma said, the kids seem genuinely glad to see their friends for the first few days. A few months later, extraneous papers will trail out of my son's binder and he will have lost several assignments, never to be found. And as much as I love a lazy week, I'm also glad we're back on some sort of routine though waking up is a bit tough. By 10 am I'm ready for lunch. However, never underestimate the power of a good power nap. This year Anna has "Emotional Health," which I believe is a form of meditation often leading to a midday snooze. And now that we're back in a routine, my job search is kicking into high gear. My previous freelance gig terminated in July, so it's now time for me to hit the ground running, resume in hand. In summary, I have mixed feelings about back to school. I'm glad the kids have structure to their day, and they are being challenged by their teachers. I don't like being the "homework police" so I'm trying to get out of that job and let my son bear the consequences. We'll all get used to the early mornings and if not, Labor Day is just around the corner!

School-to-Sports Transition is Easy with Dragonwing

The school year and fall sports seasons have started. And that means girls -- and parents -- need to make quick transitions from school to practice or a game. Need to change clothes in the car or bus? Concerned about modesty or just trying to find the time? Dragonwing's got you covered! Our girls sports bras, camis, and light compression shorts are perfect under school clothes and make changing for sports quick and easy. Whether your sport is soccer, field hockey, cheering, or cross country, stock up for the fall season with our moisture-wicking, comfortable performance wear designed especially for girls. To help you stock up on sports bras, compression shorts, camis, and base layers just for tweens and teens, we're offering 20% off each order until Sept. 1. Just enter SAVE20 in the discount code at checkout from dragonwinggirl.com.

Back to School Bittersweetness

Remember the Staples TV commercial from a few years back? Dad skipping along the aisles, flanked by droopy kids, while "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays overhead? Back-to-school can be bittersweet for everyone. As she starts her 12th year of school (13th counting kindergarten), Emma calls it "the best and worst time of the year." Seeing friends, making new ones, and starting soccer season are big pluses. Homework assignments, college applications, and less sleep can take its toll. In her latest blog post, she's got some great tips for making the transition as smooth as possible. Check it out and leave a comment with what helps you keep a positive outlook at school. Remember to SUBSCRIBE to Emma's blog so you'll be notified by email each time she posts.

5 Back-to-School Tips for Active Girls

The start of the school year is filled with anticipation, excitement, great promise, and sometimes anxiety. What will my teachers and classes be like? Will I make new friends? Will my “old” friends still be my friends? And, when transitioning to a new school, will I fit in? Girl with backpack and bike back to school At Dragonwing girlgear, our mission is to empower girls in sports and in life. Building connections, feeling confident inside and out, and making routines and transitions as smooth as possible can help get the school year off to a great start! Here are our 5 back-to-school tips: 1. JOIN A TEAM OR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, IN OR OUT OF SCHOOL. Being part of a team is a great way for girls to make friends, stay active, reduce stress, improve mental health, and develop lifelong skills – like teamwork and resilience -- that are the benefits of sports participation. 2. CHOOSE CLOTHING THAT GIVES GIRLS COMFORT AND CONFIDENCE FROM THE INSIDE OUT. The start of school, particularly for girls whose bodies are changing, can be a time of hyper self-awareness. Research shows that girls are starting puberty, marked by the start of breast development, significantly earlier than 15 years ago, sometimes as young as 8 or 9 years old. Regardless of when they first need a bra, girls want something comfortable that provides enough coverage so they don’t feel self-conscious and fits them just right, so they can move and play with confidence. Girls and parents alike want a first bra to be age-appropriate, not the padded or plunging bras of Victoria’s Secret, Target, and other retailers. A well-fitting, comfortable sports bra, like our Keyhole and Racer sports bras, or a sports camisole with an inner layer, like our Un-Tee Sports Cami, is often the best choice. 3. MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO SPORTS EASY, QUICK, AND COMFORTABLE. The start of the school year and fall sports season means girls – and parents – need to make quick transitions from school to practice or competition. Need to change clothes in the car or on the bus? Concerned about modesty while changing out of school clothes and into sports gear? When getting dressed in the morning, choose base layers (aka “undergarments”) -- like our sports bras, camis, and light compression shorts -- that are cool and comfortable under “regular” school clothes and make changing for sports quick and easy. No need to completely undress; just take off school clothes and pull on a sports jersey and shorts.
What a girl wears under her uniform can help her feel confident and play her best. Undergarments that are comfortable, fit great, and provide appropriate coverage empower girls to play the sports they love without being distracted by droopy straps, bras or shirts that ride up, or bunching shorts.
4. PLAN AHEAD FOR COOLER WEATHER. While it may be hot and humid now, the arrival of cool, fall weather always seems to surprise us. Afternoon practices and games – or the trip to and from school -- can quickly turn chilly or downright cold. A pair of leggings and a long-sleeve top under sports gear can keep a girl athlete warm, agile, and in the game. Moisture-wicking fabric is a must, so the sweat moves away from the skin and girls stay dry and warm. When shopping, consider the sport as well as the fit. Many soccer girls love our Capri-length Chill Weight Leggings because they don’t interfere with shin guards. 5. THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS A GIRL NEEDS ON HER FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL WON'T FIT INTO HER BACKPACK OR GYM BAG. She carries these treasures inside herself: a spirit of adventure and curiosity, a desire to learn and tackle new challenges, and a sense of confidence in herself.

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A slightly revised version of this post originally appeared on the Sports Mom Survival Guide, a great resource for parents of young athletes with tips, ideas, and recipes.