Going back to school can be a treat or a nightmare—depending on whether your child is outgoing and social, or shy and prefers one on one interaction, as opposed to dealing with groups. Either way, being prepared requires you to be on top of your game irrespective of whether you’re tackling issues like backpacks, meals, potential situations involving bullying, and that most dreaded word, homework.
Here’s a simple primer on how to handle the return to school with a bit of grace, a whole lot of attitude and of course, some organizational skills.
4 Backpack Bonanza Tips:
- Comfort is important so when choosing a backpack, pick one which has broad and padded straps that go over the shoulders, as well as a padded back. Ideally, there should be separate compartments for different items.
- Encourage your child to pack light and to use all the compartments, putting the heavy items in the center.
- Even though it may be fashionable, encourage your child to use both straps as doing the whole single-shoulder slouching thing can lead to serious muscle strain.
- As a last resort, if your child needs to carry a lot of stuff, consider a backpack with a stroller option. Of course, this will still pose a problem when it comes to stairs, snow and lockers.
3 School Meal Suggestions:
- A healthy breakfast helps your child’s concentration and energy levels simultaneously.
- Check your child’s school cafeteria menu and prepare backup plans for a packed lunch on days when it features items you know your child doesn’t enjoy or is allergic to.
- Explore what the vending machines stock at school and ensure you get the school management to offer options that include fresh fruit, water and 100 percent real fruit juices. Suggest a ban on soda, energy drinks, candy bars and deep-fried salty snacks like potato chips.
7 Ideas To Prevent Bullying:
This is a problem that can occur in physical, verbal, or social ways and can take place in different areas of the school. Here are some simple coping strategies you can equip your child with.
- Don’t run away but don’t be aggressive when confronting a bully; look them in the eye and stay calm when things get difficult.
- If the bully is being overly hostile, simply walk away.
- Teach your child phrases that help them express their feelings without getting angry, such as “Please don’t talk to me like that,” or “I don’t like what you’re doing.”
- Ensure that they ask for help from a trusted adult or teacher if things begin to get out of hand.
- Suggest that your child make friends with other children to avoid being a loner and appearing easy to pick on.
- If matters escalate, alert the authorities and let them deal with the problem as they see fit.
- Keep an eye on your kid’s online activities.
5 Homework Handling Hints:
- Help your kid cope with homework by creating a quiet space minus any distractions where they can focus better. This means no TV, video games or toys.
- Encourage them to create a timetable and factor in homework time as well as leisure time in a balanced fashion.
- Be present for help but do not do their homework for them. Instead, teach them to be more organized with their materials, time and information.
- Teach them to take small, frequent breaks to prevent fatigue of the eyes, neck and back, as well as the mind. Always ensure they get adequate sleep as this affects performance, attention spans and retention skills in a major way.
- Decide whether a tutor or mentor is needed for some extra help.
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