If your child is struggling to adjust, remind them that each year is a chance at a fresh start. As with anything in life, it is very important to start with a positive attitude. Encourage your child to add to the school culture and not subtract from it. Teach your child to use the word “we” and not “they.” Using “we” will make them a part of what is going on, but using they takes them out of the situation and often times is a way to place blame. Teach your child to be a defender and not a gossiper, a collaborator and not an isolator. Teach your child to inspire others to be good and do well.
At the start of the school year be prepared for some changes in your child’s behavior. Children often save up their hard feelings for the parents because it feels safer to let these feelings out at home than at school. You can even expect a surge in sibling rivalry or fighting with parents at home.
Continue to be firm with your rules and expectations; just understand that often times you are their release. Talking to your child about his or her day will allow them the opportunity to voice their frustration rather than act out. As a parent, sometimes it helps to know other people are going through the same struggles. My wife and I have found one way to minimize these issues with our children is to have a routine and create a schedule that includes good sleeping habits.
In addition to having a positive attitude at school, here are a few other things that can help your student get off to a good start:
1) Be organized
• Take the time to put things in the correct folder
• Use the school provided agenda to write down assignments
• Come to class prepared with all materials
• Listen when your teachers and classmates are talking
• Sit up straight with both feet on the floor; at League Elementary we call it “academic stance.”
3) Speak up
• Ask for help during or after class if you don’t understand something.
4) Set goals
• Have your child set one school goal and one away from school goal each year. Help them to reflect back when they make choices that honor the goals and when they make choices that detract from the goals they set.
Yet another thing that will help your child get off to a great start is good school/home communication. Often time this is the key to a successful school year. It is very important to keep the lines of communication open and work as a team to carry out the most effective plan to meet your student’s needs. You can communicate with your child’s teacher through email, phone or even notes that can be written in your child’s agenda.
Your child will thrive when you and the school are on the same page. After all, everyone involved is working towards the same outcome and wants what is best for your child.
Try to become involved at your child’s school as much as possible. You could fill out a form in the school office to volunteer in your student’s classroom or at the school in general. You could become a member of the all elementary PTO. The first meeting is 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at Maplehurst Elementary.
I hope the 2018-2019 school year is your child’s best year yet.
Local columnist Adam Kreischer is the League Elementary principal.