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Three things to do when you've still got Term 1 parent momentum (school bag raids allowed!).

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Thanks to our brand partner, Seqirus

The start of the year is the seasonal equivalent of reaching the bottom of your kid’s school bag. It’s empty and full of possibility… and it’s about to get filled with stuff.

It’s also the only genuine opportunity you have to start a school term fresh. To get on top of things, get organised and ahead of the game.

And yet, as inevitable as lost socks, as the year progresses, life starts to resume its normal rhythm of “I thought training started at 6pm!” and “have you picked up – the children??” (Which has only technically happened to me once. Or maybe twice.)

So, while I still have the benefit of Term 1 parent momentum, I’m taking a three-pronged approach that’ll save me in the long run. From the to-do-list to the school bag to their desk, here’s the breakdown.

1. The To-Do List.

Whether it’s apps on your phone that sync to your computer, handwriting things in a lovely new diary, or giving up on the last vestiges of your LBK (life-before-kids) and buying a giant family calendar, do what works for you.

Then, when new information comes at you, don’t be alarmed, just calmly connect with your system. Never trust the magical sieve that is your brain, especially later in the year when things are in full swing.

What works for me is a quick task on my phone for anything on the go, set with a reminder so I remember to transfer this information onto my trusty wall calendar when I’m home.

2. The School Bag.

Yes, it’s that school bag. That dark, foreboding object that you pretended didn’t exist all last year, until you had to face off with unidentified organic matter and a lunchbox and water bottle well past their use by date in December.

What I’m suggesting is – make friends with this object this year. Have a little peep inside it each week. Air it out! Discard any potential biohazards. And importantly, take note when any key items go missing (jumpers, hats) and keep on top of any forms that need your attention. This video gives me flashbacks of last year’s school bag woes, so let’s not make that same mistake:

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Video by Seqirus Australia

One to look out for is the School Based Vaccination Program consent form. This form will give you information about Government-funded vaccinations your kids aged 12 to 13 years are scheduled to receive this year. This Australia-wide program helps protect children against preventable illnesses like diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and HPV, also known as human papillomavirus. Just find the form (easier once the organic matter has been safely removed), sign it and return it. Done!

What has actually been really handy in my household is to take a photo of the summary page in my child’s immunisation book. That’s the coloured book all children born in Australia get to keep track of the immunisations they’ve had or when they’re due. So, whenever this information is needed, I have it saved in my phone.

Now, I know as parents we’re used to being the ones taking them to get vaccinations. When my daughter was little, maternal and child health care visits just seemed to automatically happen – whereas as they get older, they actually need our signature to get their vaccinations at school.

So, get on top of the year by starting the year up to date with the vaccination schedule. And of course, you can talk to your doctor for more information about any of the vaccinations on the program.

3. And finally, The Desk.

You’ve either seen Marie Kondo on YouTube or read her books, but you can also apply a bit of KonMari magic to your kids’ study spaces to help them feel good about the new year.

In my household that has meant a clearing out of the bookshelves filled with books my daughter has well and truly outgrown, getting her a monthly wall planner for homework and finishing it all off with a new plant for her desk.

So harness the spirit of the new year, enjoy the lighter traffic, and let it help you to kickstart the school year in ways you will be grateful for come April. Or August. Gulp.

What else should I get done now while I’ve got this Term 1 parent thing together?

Seqirus

Seqirus (Australia) Pty Ltd. ABN: 66 120 398 067. 63 Poplar Road, Parkville VIC 3052 www.seqirus.com.au; Seqirus (Australia) distributor for Merck, Sharp and Dohme (Australia) Pty Ltd. Seqirus™ is a trademark of Seqirus UK Limited or its affiliates. Date of preparation: February 2019 SEQ/GAR9/0119/0043b

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