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A Parents Guide to a Great School Year

All kids are nervous and excited about the first day of school. The challenges are many. But yes, its evidence that they are growing up and in a few more years they will be leaving the nest, so cherish the memories. You are doing a wonderful job raising them. In the meantime, the most important gift you can bestow on your children is good health. If they have good health, they will be ready for anything. So, be sure they are ready for the challenges at school. Come in for a well child exam and update their immunizations. How is their vision and hearing? Do they have allergies? Do they drink plenty of water? Are they advised to avoid sugars and fats? (sodas, beacon, sausages, hot dogs, chips, candy, doughnuts, chips) Nutrition matters. A substantial breakfast will give your child the energy to do what a child got to do. Brain foods include: salmon, eggs, peanuts, whole grains, honey, bananas, berries, beans, dairy products, lean meat and chicken without the skin.

According to Bethany Thayer, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA):"Give the body junk food, and the brain is certainly going to suffer," Do they exercise vigorously and often? Children who excise often have better memory and do better academically. Make sure the school nurse and your child’s teacher know if your child is taking medication or prone to having seizures, allergies and other incidents requiring urgent attention. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Are your children used to washing their hands, brushing their teeth, coughing in their elbows and bathing at least daily? Kids need it quiet when they study and when they sleep. “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a child healthy, wealthy and wise.” Teach them social skills and southern hospitality. This means they are respectful of others and speak to people they encounter. If it’s no more than “good morning”, “How are you?”, ”How’s yu mama dem?” the weather, the latest news, did you hear the one about…? Maybe not for the victims, but gossiping about teachers and other kids is actually a positive bonding exercise. More or less, we all do it. Load them up with note cards, help them put the question on one side and the answer on the other and always have a stack with them to review in their down time. Use every spare moment to test them. It is the best aid to memorizing vocabulary and facts. There is a lot to know. For older kids, you must alert them to the dangers of the internet. Whatever they send on Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter will be accessible forever. You have, I am certain, heard the horror stories of kids who sent nude pictures to friends they trusted and they ended up committing suicide because their so called friends made them public. There is no privacy on the internet. More importantly, their priority is leaning and development, not to be on their phones and computers literally every minute. Let’s just admit that it is a very difficult proposition to keep them from it. Finally, rehearsing and role-playing is important. Take them to the school the day before and if other kids you know are headed in that direction, get them together and have a conversation about how they feel and why school is going to be fun. If it is the first day of school for your child, it will help to sit in a corner in the classroom for an hour where the child can see you. He or she will be comforted by your presence. A card or love note in their lunchbox or hidden in their notebook is good for a smile. Get them used to writing things down so they don’t forget. This is a good habit for both children and old people. Once an adult and twice a child.

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