- Remind your child that she is not the only student who is a bit uneasy about the first day of school.
- Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. She’ll see old friends and meet new ones.
- If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.
TRAVELING TO AND FROM SCHOOL
- Review the basic rules with your youngster:
- School Bus
- Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
- Do not move around on the bus.
- Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing.
- Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
WALKING TO SCHOOL
- Make sure your child’s walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
- Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
- If your child is young or is walking to new school, walk with them the first week to make sure they know the route and can do it safely.
- Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
- In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, or over the Internet.
When Your Child Is Bullied
Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your
child how to:
- Look the bully in the eye.
- Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
- Walk away.
Teach your child how to say in a firm voice.
- “I don’t like what you are doing.”
- “Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
- Teach your child when and how to ask for help.
When Your Child Is the Bully
- Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
- Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.
- Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
- Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
When Your Child Is a Bystander
- Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
- Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
- Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities.
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the your child’s body weight.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE
- During middle childhood, youngsters need supervision. A responsible adult should be available before and after school.
- Children approaching adolescence (11- and 12-year-olds) should not come home to an empty house in the afternoon unless they show unusual maturity for their age.
- If alternate adult supervision is not available, parents should make special efforts to supervise their children from a distance. Children should have a set time when they are expected to arrive at home and should check in with a neighbor or with a parent by telephone.
- If you choose a commercial after-school program, inquire about the training of the staff. There should be a high staff-to-child ratio.
DEVELOPING GOOD HOMEWORK AND STUDY HABITS
- Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Youngsters need a permanent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that offers privacy.
- Set aside ample time for homework.
- Establish a household rule that the TV set stays off during homework time.
- Supervise computer and internet use.
- Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework for her.
If your child is struggling with a particular subject, and you aren’t able to help her yourself, a tutor can be a very good solution.