A back to school guide for the teenage (and college) years

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick®. The opinions and text are all mine.

The start of this school year is a little bittersweet for me.  It will be the last year when I have all three of my kids at home starting school together.  

It's hard to believe this sweet boy who started Kindergarten with a teddy bear, will be starting his senior year.  We have been researching colleges and talking about future plans a lot, but it still doesn't feel like this little guy-my little guy-should be heading off into his final year of high school and preparing for college in less than a year!

When my kids were in elementary school we would receive a supply list from their school with everything they needed listed from glue sticks to markers on it. I would purchase the items and cross each one off as I got it filling a bag with their school supplies that would get unloaded on back to school night. Now that I have two teenagers the back to school shopping has changed a little bit.
Instead of crayons we are picking up disposable razors, instead of safety scissors we are stocking up on deodorant.  Back to school shopping is different from those elementary school days, which is why I have put together a little back to school shopping guide for the teenager years.  

This guide works perfectly for our 13 year old daughter and it will last us throughout the college years, because you know your kids are going to want you to still go back to school shopping with them before college starts. Mostly because you open the wallet and follow behind them as they fling things into the cart.

I've put together five tips to act as a little back to school shopping guide for you.

1. Make back to school shopping a one stop shop

When our family does back to school shopping we always stop at WalMart because we can not only stock up on all of the pens, pencils, notebooks and binders my kids need, we also can get all of our back to school hygiene products.

The sweet boy with the teddy bear now grows facial hair. He's sort of let his "beard" grow this summer but I know once he heads back to school he's going to want to put his best foot forward and feel good, clean and confident as a senior.  

Schick has several disposable razor options to try for both men and women, which is good because these young men and women are still figuring out what they like. My son picked out the Schick Hydro® 5 and my daughter went for the Schick® Hydro Silk® disposable razors. 

2. Stock up

While we were in the personal care aisles we also stocked up on shampoo and conditioner {or two in one products}, deodorant, hair care products {pretty sure my son uses more product than I do!} and body wash, because who uses bars of soap anymore?  Apparently they don't.  The kids could already be stocked up on all of their shampoo but it doesn't take long before you get the trickle effect and start hearing "mom, I need..." or "mom, I'm all out of...". It's happened before where I will go to the store to pick up shampoo for one kid and the next day another kid will tell me they are all out of something. Stock up all at once.  
Or if you are shopping for your college kid, buy as much as you need to get you through December and then you know they will need to go shopping with you when they are home on break.  It's a good little excuse to hang out with your kids when they are starting to feel distant.

3. Let them be particular

Through the school years my kids have gotten pretty particular about the school supplies that they like to use.  My daughter likes gel pens not felt tip. My son likes one kind of pen over another because it's easier to chew on. I'm cheap, so I balk at the $9 price tag for a four pack of pens, but if that's what makes school easier for them, buy it. You can save money on the items they aren't particular on and splurge on the others.

4. You don't have to buy it all before school starts

Contrary to number 2 when I'm talking about personal hygiene products, I have found this to be true many years over. One year we were told we needed five reams of graph paper for an algebra class.  Five years later we still have all five of those reams. Pick up the basics and then wait until your kids get their syllabus the first week of class.  If you have a college student, pick up the basics they used all the time in high school.  You know they are going to need pens {perhaps even special pens they can chew on!} , notebooks and notebook paper and folders and highlighters.  Any special supplies can be picked up on campus.

5. Relax

Do you remember the days when your kids were stuck to you like velcro?  Like literally stuck to you? I remember peeling kids off of my legs just to walk to the bathroom and now there are times that I have to bribe them just to hang out with me. I've been known to offer a special drink or treat from the store in return for some companionship on a shopping trip. I never have to bribe my kids to go back to school shopping with me. So relax. Enjoy the time that you get to have with your kids and soak it up.  Add in a stop to their favorite restaurant for dinner or a stop at the froyo shop on the way home. O.k. so maybe that part is bribing, but a moms got to do what a moms got to do!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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