Ten Steps: Optimizing Your Child’s Back-to-School Success


“Starting a new grade, getting a new teacher, learning new classroom rules, meeting new kids in class, receiving
more rigorous schoolwork, and increasing social demands can all cause stress for your child,” according to Toni
Schutta, M.A., L.P., parent coach and author of the parenting book 20 Great Ways to Raise Great Kids, which contains need-to-know parenting strategies from America’s top experts. “An increase in temper tantrums, whining, and defiance at home is common when school starts. Parents can take steps now to minimize the difficulty.”

The best response is for parents to provide empathy and support, help the child gain a sense of control, provide rituals for predictability, get organized, teach the child how to de-stress, and make sure the child is getting enough sleep and eating foods packed with nutrition, according to Schutta. Here are 10 essential strategies for back-to-school success from the free downloadable book, 20 Great Ways to Raise Great Kids.

20 Great Ways to Raise Great Kids contains over 200 practical parenting tips that parents can use immediately to help raise a loving, kind, responsible, confident, respectful, resilient, and successful child. The book is available free at http://getparentinghelpnow.com/book3.htm

1. Scale back the bedtime hour. Several weeks before school begins start gradually scaling back bedtime so that
by the time school starts the child is going to bed and getting up at the same time s/he will for school. It takes several
weeks for the body clock to adjust itself so it’s important to start now.

2. Shop for school supplies with your child. Your child will gain a sense of ownership by picking his/her own supplies.

3. Provide daily learning time. Set aside at least 15 to 30 min. per day for “education time” before school starts
so homework time won’t come as such a shock.

4. Meet the teacher. Attend the meet-the-teacher event at school.Take a picture of the teacher with your child and
put it on the fridge. Ask the teacher for an outline of the school day so you can prepare your child. Make sure your
child knows where the bathrooms are, can open the locker, etc.

5. Arrange a play date with a classmate before school starts. It will help your child to have at least one
friend they know in their classroom.

6. Develop an end-of summer ritual. Rituals build predictability and help kids feel secure.Consider creating a scrapbook of the summer’s events or going to an amusement park for one last hurrah.

7. Create a morning map. Determine the amount of time needed to do each morning task before school and
then add 10 min. of extra time. Add up the total time needed. Then, create a cartoon strip with pictures of each
task, and the time to start and end the task, to help kids leave on time.

8. Develop a menu with nutritious breakfast selections. Experiment with breakfast foods that are easy,
nutritious and well-liked by your child. Create a menu that the child can check off the night before each school day.

9. Create a “command center” for all paperwork. Buy a hanging file box and create a hanging folder for each
activity for each child and their school, as well as your own activities. Store all paperwork in this central location so everyone in the family can access the schedules and information if needed.

10. Determine where “homework central” will be for each child. Have your child help pick where they’ll do homework each day. Also buy supplies (i.e. erasers, calculator, paper, pencils, ruler, etc.) that will be put in
a “homework basket” and used exclusively for homework to prevent procrastination.

Toni Schutta, known as The Parent Coach Who Gets Results, is a national speaker, author, parent coach and a licensed psychologist who’s helped thousands of families in the last 20 years find practical solutions that work
to parenting challenges they’re facing so families can be happier and more peaceful. She’s the author of the book, 20 Great Ways to Raise Great Kids and is the founder of www.getparentinghelpnow.com.

Source Exceptional Parent Magazine

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