Provide your child with food they will like to eat.
Whether you pack your child’s lunch or have them eat at school, there is no way for you to ensure that they will eat what they should to get the nutrients they need. Many schools have a fantastic rule where kids are not allowed to share or trade foods. This rule prevents accidental allergic reactions or other such issues but also helps parents have a little more control over their child’s nutrition. In my experience, kids won’t eat what they don’t like so it is a waste to pack things that your child doesn’t love. So what if your child is a picky eater and has the same lunch every day of the year. If they are getting the protein, grains and fresh fruits and veggies they need, that is all that matters. If your child has a school lunch, go over the menu and substitute desired foods as needed.
Make sure your child has gym shoes every day.
I have seen children come to school in sandals in the summer or boots in the winter and forget to bring athletic shoes to school. This is heartbreaking to see kids have to sit out at gym because they don’t have safe shoes. This is especially troubling for kids who need to release their extra energy or when the weather outside leaves little time for exercise. It is almost certain that your child will have a cubby space to keep gym shoes at school but if theft is an issue ot there isn’t space to keep them there, buy an extra pair of gym shoes and ALWAYS keep them in the same bag in the same place in the car so it becomes a habit to take them into school each day.
Go through your child’s take home folder.
I’m a mom, I get it. There are so many papers coming home all the time that it can get overwhelming to have to go through them all the time, but every so often you will get some information that is really important. It could be something important like a field trip form, a low lunch balance warning or a meeting about your child’s performance in school. It could also be something that is not as pressing but equally important like open house, extra curricular clubs meetings or a school t-shirt order form. Make it part of your normal routine and it will soon be quick and easy.
Support your child’s education.
Sometimes parents can get frustrated with the school or staff, but badmouthing in front of your child only causes them to be confused and uncertain. They have to go to school there everyday and face the staff so giving them things to worry about or feel bad about is unkind.
Homework and special projects are a part of life. You may not like homework hassle, science fair entries or musical instruments but to your child this is their life! Whether it is a new math concept of that squeaky band instrument, kids need to practice what they are learning so they can master the new information and commit it to memory. They can get really excited to use their brains and creativity when special projects come their way. Whether you like it or not, be excited for your child and get involved with their learning. You should never do your child’s work but you should assist them when they need guidance and you should be excited that they are learning new things, even when those things are hard.
Understand that teachers care about your child.
It has been my experience with numerous teachers that they care about every child in their class. Teachers refer to their students as “my kids”. They are with your child every day for most of the day. Teachers are responsible for your child’s happiness, health and education and teachers take this seriously. Please assume that your child’s teacher has their best interest at heart. Please be understanding about teachers being extremely busy during the day and may take some time to answer calls or emails. Please be kind when speaking to teachers as they are most likely willing to work with you as a team in the best interest of your child. At the same time, be respectful of the teacher’s personal time and understand that they have a life outside of school just like you. They can only do so much but they do a lot and they work at home almost daily as well as weekends and holidays.
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