August 2015 + September 2015
Laura Markham Susanah Lopez Susan Merrill Nadya Forjan
CONTENTS When Kids Won’t Cooperate: Give Choices page 8
How to BULLY PROOF your children page 14
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR
7 Life Hacks for Wives page 10
Editor’s Picks page 20 When Your Child Outgrows Pediatric Care page 28 Preparing Your Child for the New School Year page 32
It’s Back to School Time page 31
Letter from the Publisher Another summer ending and another school year starts....where does the time go? As we approach another school year, I want to send you a reminder to make sure that your kids are ready to take on a new school -grade, teacher and ready to make new friends. It is so important that they feel confident during all these changes and that they know that no matter what, you are always there along the way. This year, our little one starts second grade and the oldest starts eighth grade, which will be her last year at her middle school. It is a special time for her as she will learn how to keep the friendships she has made the last few years as well as start preparing to make new ones and the challenges that high school will bring. On another note, we are also getting ready for the Fall. This is one of my favorite times of the year as we start feeling cooler weather and start preparing for the Fall Festivities. Happy Back to School!
Is Your Teen Ready to Leave Home? Over the years, we’ve said many things to our kids… From “Time to wake up, sweetheart” to “Time for bed.” From “You lost your ﬁrst tooth!” to “You lost your homework, again?” From “Shhh, Mommy’s trying to sleep” to “Shhh, it’s okay, honey.” The thing we dread saying the most, But the one thing we eventually have to say to our kids, is goodbye. But before saying goodbye to your teen, be sure they are ready by sharing these 3 simple truths with them: 1. They are special: Filling your child up with encouragement is the best way to create conﬁdence in them for the future. So write a letter to your teen listing all the special things you love about them. This way, they are able to take your letter of encouragement with them when it does come time to leave home. Tell them how wonderful and awesome and unique they are! Then be sure to share speciﬁc things you love about them—such as their kindness towards their younger siblings or their leadership on their baseball team. 2. They are human: Set your teen up for a win by being sure they know that they are only human. Change their expectations from being perfect to being their best. Teach them the importance of self-discipline, of integrity, and of boundaries in relationships. But above all, prepare them for the ways they will fall short of these ideals—and that it’s okay to mess up as long as they pick themselves up, learn from their mistakes, and keep going! 3. They are loved:
Finally, be sure your teen knows how loved they are by you. There’s nothing more important than for your teen to know that they will always have someone to count on. Your teen needs to be able to trust that you’ll answer the phone if they call at midnight from some -where they don’t want to be. Your teen needs to be able to trust that you’ll cheer them on in their wins and grieve with them in their losses. Your teen needs to be able to trust completely in you and your love. © 2015, Susan Merrill. All rights reserved.
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When Kids Won't Cooperate: Give choices
Giving choices may be the single most useful tool parents have for managing life with young children. It really is almost a magic wand, at least until children are about five.
"The doctor says you have to have a shot. Do you want it in the right arm or left arm?"
"Do you want to go to bed now or in five minutes? Five minutes? Ok, do we have an agreement that in five minutes you'll go to bed no matter what?" Why does this little trick work so effectively? Because it's a win-win solution. You're offering only choices that are okay with you, so you're happy. She gets to pick one that's okay with her, so she's happy. You sidestep the power struggle, because you aren't making her do something; she is choosing. The child is in charge, within your parameters. No one likes to be forced to do something. Here, because she chooses, she cooperates.
So how do you use this magic wand?
1. Give limited choices. Make them as palatable as possible to the child, but eliminate any options that are unacceptable to you. 2. For young children or any child who is easily overwhelmed, an either/or choice works best. "We have to leave now. Do you want to put on your shoes yourself or do you want me to put them on for you?"
3. As children get older, choices can get more complicated. "You can quit soccer if you want, but what sport or physical activity do you think you'd like to try? You need to choose one physical activity." 8
4. Choices can be used to help kids learn to manage themselves. "As soon as your homework is done, I'll help you carve that pumpkin. Your choice, but I know you want to start on the pumpkin as soon as we can." He has the choice to procrastinate on his homework, but you're helping him motivate himself to tackle it now.
5. Choices can teach children consequences. "You know your piano recital is coming up. Extra practice will help you feel more confident, but that's your choice." Don't offer choices you can't live with, of course. If you aren't willing to let her make a fool of herself at the recital, you may need to help her structure her practice effectively. 6. Remember that empathy doubles the effectiveness of giving choices. Empathy helps the child feel understood, so he's less upset, and less resistant. That means he's more likely to actually be able to make a choice and move on.
You might think of giving choices as Parenting Aikido. Instead of meeting your child's resistance with force -- which creates a power struggle, and, ultimately, a more resistant child -- you affirm his right to some control, but within the bounds you set. The result: A happier, more cooperative child, who knows you're on his side. by Dr. Laura Markham, founder of AhaParenting.com and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Lifehttp://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive -discipline/give-choices
August 2015 + September 2015
Every mom needs a few life hacks. The Urban Dictionary defines a hack as a clever solution to a tricky problem.
Being a wife is a tricky problem–it shouldn’t be, but it is. The world–the culture that I live in bombards me with images and ideas that make me think I have a problem. What I need is a clever solution to fight back. So here are 7 of my life hacks for being the wife I want to be: Television, movies and magazines tell me I need more romance, passion and intimacy. What I really need is a hack for contentment in my marriage.
5. Communicate Well Life Hack
1. Be Content Life Hack Distraction and busyness drain my attention from my husband. What I need is a hack to help me remember how to make him a priority and show him that I adore him.
The simple things, that is what counts–hundreds of simple gestures all piled up together. But the problem is if you get busy you forget. That’s what happened to me and my husband noticed. The solution is a simple hack for giving little bits of love.
2. Adore Him Life Hack
6. Love with Actions Life Hack
The problem with social media is that I begin to believe that everyone I know has a perfect husband, a perfect house and a $10,000 vacation every year. What I need is to be thankful for my real husband and the real pictures of sweet memories posted on my not so perfect but real walls.
The problem is that my husband needs encouragement. He has a lot of pressure on him and I am often guilty of adding to it! The solution is a hack to remember what he needs to hear from me and to tell him.
7. Speak Kindly Life Hack
3. Be Thankful Life Hack Guilt is a problem for me. I often feel as if I am not being or doing enough. I seem to remember all the negatives with razor sharpness and they cut into me painfully. What I need to do is challenge myself to small successes every day and to let go of the negative.
4. Be Challenged Life Hack The problem with communication is me–this gift was left out of my genetic box. The solution is work and I promise I have been working hard on this for 25 years –still a problem but not giving up! This hack is from my hubs because he is better at it.
See more at: http://www.susanme.com/category/love-this/#sthash.izTzloDd.dpuf © 2015, Susan Merrill. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.susanme.com.
August 2015 + September 2015
Making Summer Safe for
South Floridaʻs Children
Now that August is here, school is on the horizon. No matter what grade your child is about to enter, there’s the yearly back- toschool checklist of to-dos like shopping for school supplies, filling out permission forms and, of course, scheduling your child’s pediatric visit at Care Resource. The back-to -school season is a convenient time for putting the exam on your family’s schedule and make sure that your school-age children, from preschoolers to college students receive their vaccines. During the month of August, new clients without Health Insurance can receive a free comprehensive check-up and their required vaccinations for school including, but not limited to vaccinations for polio, chicken-pox, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), DTap and Tdap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis). New clients can also receive a NEW back-to-school backpack. To redeem this promotion, one MUST first make an appointment. To make an appointment, call 305-576-1234 EXT: 470 (English) and 471 (Spanish).
As it is still summer-time, it is the season for kids to enjoy different indoor and outdoor activities. Unfortunately, here in South Florida, the heat can take its toll on the body. Heatrelated illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. 16
According to Alicia Fernandez-Garcia, MD, Pediatrician with Care Resource, “For heat-related illness, the best defense is prevention. Dressing infants and children in loose, lightweight, lightcolored clothing is always a great idea, scheduling outdoor activities carefully, for morning and evening hours are always smart too. In addition, just a few serious sunburns can increase you and your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they're outdoors. Don’t forget to cover up. Clothing that covers your and your child's skin helps protect against UV rays. Here at Care Resource, during your visit this summer, one can receive a special Care Resource branded SPF (sun protection factor) 30 sunscreen.”
August 2015 + September 2015
Care Resource’s Pediatrician is Board Certified in pediatrics since 1989 and has continued her re-certifications to present and has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1989. Her urgent care practice was the first in her community to provide weekend and daily night hours for the children of East Pasco County. To further accommodate and serve South Florida’s children, the below dates have extended times of operation at the Care Resource office in Little Havana office located on the third floor of 1901 S.W. 1st Street. Thursday, August 6, 2015 (open until 7:30 pm) Thursday, August 13, 2015 (open until 7:30 pm) Saturday, August 15, 2015 (10 am – 2 pm) It is important for children to be treated by pediatricians in an environment that is equipped to meet the needs of children. Your family’s pediatrician is an important partner in keeping your child happy and healthy, from birth through adolescence. With offices conveniently located throughout South Florida, where your family lives, works and plays, Care Resource’s pediatric services are right for you. There are important advantages to pediatric care. At Care Resource, our locations are staffed with board certified pediatric staff. We strive to provide the highest standard of health care services for children in our region. We are dedicated to developing advances in pediatric / adolescent care, promoting the well-being of children and families, and serving as advocates for children’s health related issues. Services include well child care; pediatric hearing, vision and dental care; immunizations; routine health screenings and adolescent care.
Terms & Conditions Apply: Vouchers are ONLY valid for pediatric patients without private or government insurance. Pediatric clients include infants, children, and adolescents, and the age limit ranges from birth up to 18 years of age. Usage of this voucher is considered an acknowledgement by the patient that they are not insured. The promotion applies to appointments made between August 1, 2015 and August 31, 2015, however, appointment dates may be scheduled outside this window period. Offer has no cash value and becomes void if appoin -tment is cancelled. Limited quantity and on a first come, first served basis. Promotion is subject to change or termination at any time, without notice. About Care Resource: Care Resource is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Care Resource provides comprehensive primary medical and preventive care, including dental care, in-house pharmacy services and behavioral health/substance abuse services to all individuals in South Florida’s diverse communities. For more information, please visit www.careresource.org.
Care Resource’s Pediatric Service offices are at the following locations: 3510 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137, 1901 S.W. 1st Street – 3rd Floor, Miami, FL 33135
T. 305.576.1234 * F. 305.571.2020
T. 305.203.5230 * F. 305.203.5231
August 2015 + September 2015
CABIN Living Décor at its best!
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It might seem like only yesterday that you stepped into the pediatrician's office for your child's very first visit. And you might have been a little nervous as you got to know the person who'd be caring for your little one. But after years of interaction (complete with late-night phone calls, last-minute appoin -tments, and trustworthy advice), your pediatrician probably feels like part of the family. So when the time comes for your child to transition into adult health care, it can be hard to say goodbye. Done abruptly, this change can be overwh -elming and anxiety-inducing for you and your child. But if you're both prepared and plan accordingly, it can be a smooth step on the path to adulthood.
Finding a New Doctor Once kids become legal adults at age 18, they can visit an adult primary care physic -ian (PCP), such as an internal medicine doctor (internist), a general practitioner, or a family medicine doctor. Your pediatrician, who is specifically train -ed to care for kids and teens, might be able to provide care for a little longer if your child is in college (usually until college graduation or age 21). But this varies from doctor to doctor, so be sure to ask. Ask your pediatrician for a referral if you don't have a family doctor that your child wants to see or if your child has a chronic condition that will require an adult specialist's care.
If your child has a rare condition, disability, or pediatric-onset condition (one that only develops in childhood), it may be challenging to find a PCP or adult specialist who is knowl -edgeable and comfortable caring for these complex needs. In this case, start searching for doctors early on, during the teen years. Ask if your child can see a new doctor for a trial period; then, follow up with the pediatric specialist to discuss how things went and put both doctors in touch to plan for the transition of care. Allow plenty of time for this process â€” that way, if there is an issue your child can continue seeing the pediatric spec -ialist until you find an adult provider who is a better fit.
Choosing Health Care Coverage If your child is a dependent under your health care coverage, the Affordable Care Act allows your child to be covered until age 26, regardless of whether he or she is in college, living at home, or even married. Your child can be emplo -yed and still on your policy, as long as he or she is not eligible for health insurance benefits through an employer. Coverage will expire on the day your child turns 26, so he or she should begin looking for new coverage well before this date.
medical benefits for those who are out of work for an extended period of time) also might be offered by the employer, but at an added cost.
If insured through an employer, your child will have to pay a monthly fee (premium), based on the number of exemptions your child claims. He or she is also responsible for any co-pays and out-of-pocket fees that go directly to health care providers like doctors or pharmacists. If no longer covered under your insurance plan and health coverage is not offered by an employer or spouse's plan, your child might be eligible for coverage under COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This U.S. mandate requires all health insurance carriers to temporarily extend coverage in a group plan to former dependents for up to 36 months. Since COBRA does not kick in autom -atically, your child must apply for coverage (and should do so quickly, since time of eligibility is limited). Premiums will be higher than what your child paid as a dependent on your plan. Your child also can opt for individual health coverage (rather than through a company group plan), but premiums will be higher.
Many employers offer group health care coverage as part of their employee benefits package, which lets employees customize a plan that may include dental care, vision care, emergency care, and routine medical care. Long-term disability insurance (insurance that offers
If your child has a pre-existing condi -tion, insurance companies can't turn him or her down or charge more for coverage. If your child has special health care needs, your insurance plan may have an adult disabled child clause, which allows adult children
August 2015 + September 2015
with disabilities to stay on a parent's plan indefinitely. Check with your insurance company to see if this is offered. Those who are disabled prior to turning 22 also may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These benefits are offered to disabled children whose parents paid into Social Security throughout their careers. After a child has SSDI for 24 months, he or she is also eligible for the U.S. government's Medicare insurance plan.
Places to Visit this Holiday Season:
Kids whose parents are deceased, retired, or receiving disability benefits themselves may qualify for benefits. Adult children who are disabled also may receive coverage through the government's Medicaid program if their incomes fail to cover the cost of medical services or if they qualify for and/or receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).Being a Responsible Patient Unlike pediatric care, adult health care is based on patient responsibility â€” and with that responsibility comes control. So, your child will have the authority to make all medical decisions and also is entitled to privacy regarding all medical conditions, unless he or she opts to share information with you. Once responsible for their own health care, it's important for young adults to relay medical information â€” such as previous illnesses, operations, medications, and immunizations â€” to all health care providers. Be sure your child mentions allergic reactions to medications (like penicillin), and whether or not there's a family history of disease, like cancer or heart disease. This information should be shared with all doctors, especially those working together to treat an illness or chronic condition. Encourage your son or daughter to keep copies of all medical records and an upto-date list of medicines and dosages.
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And while it's important to see a doctor with a health concern, it's also important to visit regularly for checkups and screenings. Health care providers will make recomm -endations about when to undergo screenings based on your child's personal and family medical history.
Before Your Child Reaches Adulthood Since kids will be responsible for managing their own health care as adults, it makes sense for them to start "co-managing" their health care during the teen years. So, little by little, encourage your teen to take an active role -scheduling appointments and refilling prescriptions are good places to start. This builds self-confidence and also gives parents a sense of relief knowing that their kids can take care of themselves. The transition into adult health care won't happen overnight. But by planning in advance and talking about what to expect, you'll help your child successfully manage his or her own health care when the time comes.
www.kidshealth.org August 2015 + September 2015
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Preparing Your Child
for the New School Year
by Dr. Laura Markham
founder of AhaParenting.com and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life http://www.ahaparenting.com/Ages -stages/school-age/Preparing-kids-child-New-School-Year
Here in the Northern hemisphere, the last weeks of summer are already upon us, and the new school year is right around the corner. Whether you can’t wait till your kids are back in school or dread the more regim -ented days ahead, there’s one thing you can count on: Back to School is always a big transition. Kids who are starting school for the first time or moving to a new school have to cope with the biggest adjustment, but even moving up a grade means facing more academic demands, a new teacher, and a changing social circle. The good news is that a little bit of preparation and fore-thought a very little bit, so you can enjoy these last weeks of summer!--can make those first weeks of school easier for your kids - and yourself.
1. Make sure your child is familiar with the school. If she was at the same school last year, great! You only need to talk about any differences this year. “Now that you’re in ﬁrst grade, you get to play on the big kids playground, and go eat in the lunchroom with the other kids.” “Now that you’ll be in third grade, you’ll have homework every day.” “Now that you’ll be in middle school, you’ll be walking by yourself. We’ll need to practice crossing Main Street.” But if this is her ﬁrst year at this school, then you’ll want to take some trips there. Even if there is a formal orientation day just before school begins, start now by taking a trip to the school. If you can get access to the playground, that’s a terriﬁc way to help your child bond with her new school. If not, at least admire it through the fence and get her excited about the slide or climbing structure. If the building is open, by all means walk in together to check it out. If you’re allowed to poke your head in the library, peer into a classroom or two, and use the bathroom (important in making her feel more secure there) you’ve hit the jackpot. You may not get much further than the ofﬁce, where you can explain that your child will be starting school in the fall and wanted to see what the school was like, and introduce her to the front ofﬁce staff. Either way, the more your child sees of the school, the less she’ll fret with fear of the unknown, and the more comfortable she’ll feel on the ﬁrst day.
2. Take advantage of any orientation opportunities. Many schools let new students, especially in the younger grades, come to school for an orientation session before school begins. If the school doesn’t have such a program, ask if you and your child can come by to meet the new teacher for a few minutes a day or so before school starts.
Teachers are busy preparing their rooms and materials at that time, but any experienced teacher is happy to take a few minutes to meet a new student and make him feel comfortable, since she knows that helps her students settle into the school year.
3. Facilitate your child’s bonding with the teacher. All kids need to feel connected to their teacher to feel comfortable in the classroom. Until they do, they are not ready to learn. Experienced teachers know this, and “collect” their students emotionally at the start of the school year. Obviously, if you can arrange for your child to meet the teacher in advance, by all means do so. But there are lots of ways to help your child feel like he knows even a teacher he’s never met.
Once you ﬁnd out your child’s classroom assignment, begin talking about the teacher in fond and familiar terms. “When you’re in Ms. Williams class, I bet she’ll be impressed with what a great cleaner-upper you are.” “I’m pretty sure that Ms. Williams reads stories to the kids, she might read your favorite book if we bring it to school.” If you can ﬁnd a photo of Ms. Williams, by all means put it up on your refrigerator and speak to it fondly “Ms. Williams, you are a great kindergarten teacher and I just know you and my David are going to love each other!” If you know other kids who have been in Ms. Williams’ class, ask them to tell your child what their favorite thing was about her. Encourage your child to draw a picture to bring Ms. Williams on the ﬁrst day, and to pick out a shiny red apple for her. Note that it doesn’t really matter what kind of teacher Ms. Williams is. Your child will feel a fondness for her to which she is likely to respond favorably. Regardless, the feeling of familiarity will help your child bond with her. If you notice in the ﬁrst week of school that your child doesn’t seem to have connected with his teacher, don’t hesitate to immediately contact her. Just explain that your child was excited before school started but doesn’t seem to have settled in yet. You’re hoping that the teacher can make a special effort to reach out to him so he connects with her and feels at home. Virtually all teachers understand this issue and will pay extra attention to your child during that ﬁrst week if you make a nice request. My own daughter cried every day at the start of fourth grade until I had a conversation with the teacher; a week later she loved him and couldn’t wait to go to school in the morning.
4. Facilitate bonding with the other kids.
Kids are always nervous about their new teacher, but if they know any of the other kids, they’ll feel more at ease. If you’re new in town, make a special effort to meet other kids in the neighborhood. Often schools are willing to introduce new families to each other, allowing kids to connect with other new students in the weeks before school starts. Even if your child is not new to the school, ﬁnd out what other kids are in her class and arrange a playdate so she’ll feel more connected if she hasn’t seen these kids all summer. If you can arrange for your son or daughter to travel to school that ﬁrst morning with a child he or she knows, even if they aren’t in the same classroom, it will ease last minute jitters.
5. Practice saying goodbye.
For many children, the biggest challenge will be saying goodbye to you. Orchestrate small separations to practice saying goodbye, and develop a parting routine, such as a hug and a saying like “I love you, you love me, have a great day and I’ll see you at 3!” You might give your child a token to hold on to that reminds her of you, such as a cut-out heart with a love note, your scarf, or a small stone you found on the beach together, that she can keep in her pocket while you’re apart and give back upon your return.
Most kids like to have a picture of the family in their backpacks. Be sure to use the suggestions above for helping her bond with her new teacher; she needs to transfer her attachment focus from you to the teacher if she is to successfully let you go.
6. Ask the school whether you will be able to walk your child into the classroom and hand him off to the teacher. Find out how long you will be able to stay. If you suspect that your child might have a hard time saying goodbye, by all means speak with the teacher now and make a plan for how to handle the ﬁrst day. Maybe every morning you will read your child one story and then take her over to the teacher when you say goodbye, so the teacher can comfort and distract her. Once you have a plan, begin describing to your child what will happen at school. But don’t emphasize the goodbye, keep right on going with how fun the day will be: “Every morning you will pick a book for me to read to you. When we ﬁnish the story, we will ﬁnd Ms. Williams together. We’ll give each other a big hug and say our special goodbye. Then Ms. Williams will hold your hand and take you to the block corner where you and Michael can build a tall tower while I go to work. You will have snack, and play outside, and read stories, and have lunch. Every day when I pick you up I will be excited to hear what you built in the block corner that day.”
7. Start conversations about the next grade at school or about beginning school. One good way to do this is to select books relating to that grade. Your librarian can be helpful; some good choices include books by Alan & Janet Ahlberg, Stan & Jan Berenstain, Dianne Blomberg, Marc Brown, Lauren Child, Julie Danneberg, Bonnie Graves, James Howe, Beth Norling, Marisabina Russo, and Amy Schwartz. Get your kids excited by talking about what they can expect, including snack, playground, reading, computers, singing and art. If you know other children who will be in his class or in the school, be sure to mention that he will see or play with them. Share your own stories about things you loved about school. Encourage her questions by asking what she thinks school will be like. That will help her to express any fears she hasn't articulated, but that are making her nervous. Emphasize the things you think she’ll enjoy but be sure not to minimize her fears; kids can be stricken by worries that adults might ﬁnd silly, like ﬁnding the bathroom at school. Normalize any fears and reassure her that she will have fun, that the school can reach you if necessary, and that your love is always with her even when you aren’t. Be sure to end every conversation with “and when school is over I will be there to pick you up and we’ll have a special snack while you tell me all about your day” so that every time your child thinks about school, she remembers this reassurance.
August 2015 + September 2015
8. If a younger sibling will be at home with you
If a younger sibling will be at home with you, be sure your child knows how boring it will be at home and how jealous you and the younger sibling are that you don’t get to go to school like a big kid. Explain that every day after school you will have special time with your big girl to hear all about her day and have a snack together.
9. Get your kids back on an early to bed schedule well before school starts. Most kids begin staying up late in the summer months. But kids need 9 1/2 to 11 hours of sleep a night, depending on their age. (Teens need a minimum of 9.5; toddlers usually do best with 11). Getting them back on schedule so they’re sound asleep by 9pm to be up at 7 am for school takes a couple of weeks of gradually moving the bedtime earlier. Imposing an early bedtime cold turkey the night before school starts results in a child who simply isn’t ready for an earlier bedtime, having slept in that morning and with the night-before-school jitters. In that situation, you can expect everyone’s anxiety to escalate. So keep an eye on the calendar and start moving bedtime a bit earlier every night by having kids read in bed for an hour before lights out, which is also good for their reading skills.
10. Wake up your child’s brain.
You aren’t the teacher, and you don’t need to start school before the school year starts by pulling out the ﬂashcards or assigning math problems. On the other hand, research shows that kids forget a lot during the summer. (Don't worry, they learn a lot from playing, too.) If your child has been reading through the summer months, congratulations! If not, this is the time to start. Visit the library and let him pick some books he’ll enjoy. Introduce the idea that for the rest of the summer every -one in the family (you can include yourself if you like, or you can read to them) will read for an hour every day. And if your child has assignments to complete, don’t wait for him to remember the day before school starts that he was supposed to write a book report. Finish summer work at least a week before school starts so he can relax for the rest of vacation.
11. Let your child choose his own school supplies... ...whether from around your house or from the store, and ready them in his backpack or bag.
12. The day before school starts, talk about exactly what will happen the next day...
...to give your child a comfortable mental movie: “We’ll get up early tomorrow for your ﬁrst day in Ms. Williams’ class. We will drive there together and I will take you into her classroom and introduce you to her. She will make sure you know all the other kids, because they will be your new friends. I will read a book to you and then we will hug and say our special goodbye. Then Ms. Williams will take you to the block corner so you can build a tower. Ms. Williams will show you where the bathroom is, and you can ask her anytime you need to go. There will be games and books and blocks, and she will read to the class. You will get to have fun on the playground with the other kids, and you will get to sit at a desk like the big kids. And at the end of the day, Ms. Williams will bring you to me on the school steps, and I will be there to pick you up and hear all about your ﬁrst day at school.” Be alert for signs that your child is worried, and reﬂect that most kids are a little nervous before the ﬁrst day of school, but that he will feel right at home in his new classroom soon.
13. Get yourself to bed early the night before school...
...so you can get up early enough to deal calmly with any last minute crises. Be sure kids – including teens! – lay out clothes the night before, that lunches are made, and that everyone gets enough sleep and a healthy breakfast. Plan to arrive at school early so you have time for meaningful goodbyes. And don’t forget that “ﬁrst day of school” photo before you leave home!
14. If your child gets teary when you say goodbye If your child gets teary when you say goodbye, reassure her that she will be ﬁne and that you can’t wait to see her at the end of the day. Use the goodbye routine you’ve practiced, and then hand her off to her teacher. Don’t leave her adrift without a new attachment person, but once you’ve put her in good hands, don’t worry. Experie -nced teachers know about ﬁrst day jitters and are used to bonding with their charges. Her tears won’t last long. If your child continues to have a hard time separating, be sure to speak with the teacher. Maybe she can give her a special job every morning, or facilitate a friendship with another child who has similar interests.
15. Make sure you’re a few minutes early to pick your child up that first week of school.
Not seeing you immediately will exacerbate any anxieties he has and may panic him altogether. If your child cries when you pick him up, don’t worry. You’re seeing the stress of his having to keep it together all day and be a big boy. Your return signals that it’s safe to be his baby -self again, take it as a compliment. This is true for kids of all ages, who may have uncharacteristic meltdowns during the ﬁrst week of school, or just before school starts. Chalk it up to stress, don’t be hard on them, and be sure you’re there to talk so they don’t have to resort to tantrums. Be -fore you know it everyone will be comfortable in their new routine and not even looking back as they race into school. 34
August 2015 + September 2015