My back-to-school shopping days are over but it all came back to me when I visited Staples last week. I was there for printer ink but I couldn’t resist the four foot stack of 17 cent spiral notebooks and the racks of Disney character folders and the bins of colorful school tools. I didn’t need any of it but I want it. . . all of it. . . it’s a crazy emotional trigger made worse possibly by the fact that I was a teacher for 10 years.
Then I heard a conversation that reminded me of the real meaning of back-to-school.
“Mom! I NEED this one!”
“That one is too expensive. Get the other one.”
“That one doesn’t have Transformers on it! And Mrs. Shipley says I need 8 notebooks.”
“Well, you’re only getting six because after that, they’re each full price.”
The boy then dug out a crumpled list of required supplies and the bargaining continued. Mom insisted on cuts to stay within the budget while the boy worried about the embarrassment of being unprepared or uncool.
At that moment, I was glad my back-to-school shopping days were behind me.
Back-to-school is one of the most stressful times of the year for both parents and kids so I enjoyed Shoebuy.com’s brutally honest take on the season. Their infographic starts with a confession. 1 in 4 moms admitted to lying to their child in order to avoid buying certain items on the child’s list.
“Sorry honey, the Frozen backpacks were completely sold out. Looks like you’ll have to go with that plain purple backpack from the bargain store.”
70% of moms said they were more concerned with saving a buck than putting a smile on their child’s face. And only 8% said they were concerned about quality or being on trend. Maybe they’re really just trying to keep their kids from becoming Picture Day fashion victims. Remember parachute pants? Leg-warmers? Ripped T-shirts and butterfly clips?
1 in 3 moms said they prefer to do the back-to-school shopping online, partially so they can shop while at the beach but they also saw it as a great way to avoid those horrendous “pleeeeeeese!” moments in the store.
Best block on the infographic: 50% of moms reward themselves when they find a great deal for their kids. Generic sneakers instead of the expensive, trendy skateboard shoes and mom has enough left over for a latte and a lipstick. That’s how you do back-to-school.