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Family Matters The ABC’s


have time for a sit-down breakfast, provide on-the-go breakfast foods like muffins, fruit, or protein bars.


A B


or after school such as making her bed or feeding the dog. A little bit of responsibility will go a long way.


outside after school. Combine unstructured play with friends with a more structured team practice.


C D E F


G


llness – It’s back to school and back to a room full of germs. Stock your child’s backpack or desk with tissues and hand sanitizer. Remind them to wash their hands and to sneeze into their arm.


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10 Sep/Oct 2015


riends – Encourage your child to in- vite new friends over so you can get


to know the person your child is spending time with. It is a great opportunity to meet the friend’s parents, too.


rab and Go Snacks – Your child will be hungry after school. Instead of


grabbing a handful of cookies, provide them with pre-bagged healthy snacks that won’t interfere with the dinner hour. Think veggies and dip, or hummus and crackers.


elp your child, but don’t do it for him – We want our children to suc-


ceed, but they will never learn if we do it for them. It is okay to give suggestions, but remember that it is their name on the paper.


owntime – Be sure to add free time to their schedule. These are the times


your child can relax on the couch, play video games, or have a last minute pickup game with friends in the neighborhood.


xercise – Balance your child’s seden- tary school day with plenty of exercise


hores –Give your child a few jobs that you expect done each day before


of a Successful School Year by Pam Molnar


A successful school year is as easy as learning your ABC’s. Check out these 26 simple tips for a happy and healthy school year.


ccept new challenges – Push your child to go outside of his comfort


zone. Encourage him to try activities, learn new sports, and make new friends.


reakfast – We all know breakfast is an important meal. If your child does not


J


oin - Encourage your child to join activi- ties at school. It gives them a sense of belonging and they will be more than just another face in the crowd.


K


of extracurricular activities is important, sometimes they are overwhelming. It’s okay to say no to invitations and extra practice when you see your child is over- whelmed.


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comes out wrong. Practice “the more the merrier” when making plans and include new friends in your group.


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P Q R


utrition – Plan healthy meals ahead of time. Stock up on ingredients for


quick healthy meals that your family en- joys. Save time by using the crockpot or prepping food ahead of time.


rganization – Save yourself some sanity in the mornings by organizing


things the night before. Lay out clothes, make lunches the night before, and put backpacks and shoes in the same place each night.


rovide a good example – While words are important, your actions mean so


much more. In other words, practice what you preach.


uality Time – It is easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of back to school


schedules. Try to plan dinners together or have a family game night. It is important to stay connected and catch up on each other’s day.


ules – Remind everyone of the school year rules. Reestablish bed times, dis-


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news, articles, and tips!


indful of Others’ Feelings – Think before you say it and apologize if it


eep Trying – It is hard to see your child not get the role, position, or


grade that he hoped for. Encourage your child to pick himself back up and try again. Disappointment builds character and gives them the tools to succeed.


imitations - Only you know your child’s limitations. While being a part


cuss the when, where and how long for electronics use, and what happens when mom and dad are not home.


it is a good time to come to you with prob- lems and concerns. You will get more out of the discussion if you are both tuned in.


S T


U V


se their time wisely – As our kids get older, their commitments increase.


Teach your child to use his time wisely by prioritizing so he will not be up at midnight doing homework.


olunteer – It is a great way to see what goes on at school, meet the teachers


and interact with the other parents. Even working parents can get involved by help- ing at evening and weekend events.


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zzzzzs- Keeping a regular bedtime routine and getting a good night’s sleep is important. Listen to your body and go to bed earlier if you need it. 


Y Z


Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. This is her 13th new school year as a parent.


orkspace – Establish where your child will do his homework. Is the


kitchen table too distracting? Does he have a desk in his room? Choose a space that is quiet and has all the tools he needs.


tra Help- Get a jump start on finding a tutor for your child. If she struggles


in in a subject, look for someone who can keep her on track this year.


ear of…. – Help your child set achiev- able goals this year. Make this the


year of straight A’s, perfect attendance, or lead in the school play.


ocial Media – Reconfirm what social media sites your child belongs to and check all passwords.


ake time to talk - Open your schedule each day and let your kids know when


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