• Monday, August 26, 2019

    A short note can ease first-day jitters

    Even children who are excited about the first day of school can be worried about it, too. One common worry is, "Will my teacher like me?" Ease your child's fears by writing a note introducing him to the teacher. You can include all the things he wants the teacher to know, like "Billy can count to 100." Read the note aloud to your child. Then send it to open the door to productive teamwork with the teacher.

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    Tuesday, August 27, 2019

    Celebrate your child's big accomplishments

    Setting goals is an effective way to motivate your child, in school and at home. Sometimes reaching a goal feels so good, it's all the reward your child will need to keep going. But when she reaches a tough goal, it's time to celebrate! One way is to take (or have your child draw) a picture of her reaching her goal. Frame it and put it by her bed. Whenever she looks at it, she'll see herself as an achiever.

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    Wednesday, August 28, 2019

    Promote safety on the way to school

    Whether your child walks or bikes to school or just to the bus stop, you want him to be safe on the way. Choose a route with the fewest street crossings. Then walk the route with your child. As you go, role-play situations he might face. What will he do if a large dog is in his path? If possible, arrange for him to walk with a friend or family member each day. And be sure your child knows never to talk to or ride with strangers.

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    Thursday, August 29, 2019

    Your child needs your time more than screen time

    Too much screen time isn't good for kids. And when parents focus on screens too much themselves, their children miss out on important time with them. So turn off your devices and play board games with your child. Plant an herb garden. Take a walk and look for unusual things. Try foods from a different country (and find the country on a map). Create a secret code. You'll be helping your child think and learn.

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    Friday, August 30, 2019

    Try a kitchen timer to motivate your child

    Kids hate to be told what to do. Nagging, arguing and scolding don't usually motivate them. But a kitchen timer can. When you want your child to do something, set the timer. Then see if she can "beat the clock." Say, "Let's see if you can pick up your toys before the timer goes off." A timer also works to enforce a time limit: "When the timer rings in 15 minutes, it will be time for bed."

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    Saturday, August 31, 2019

    Attendance is critical for your child's success

    Children who don't attend school regularly fall behind and score lower on tests. They can have a hard time making and keeping friends. And frequent absences in elementary school can set a pattern that makes a child more likely to drop out of school later. Don't let your child skip school for reasons other than illness or emergency. If he regularly resists going to school, talk to the teacher.

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    Sunday, September 1, 2019

    Three things that make mornings easier

    For some kids, getting out the door in the morning with everything they need is a challenge. To help your child, tackle three areas: 1. Time management. Block out regular times for study, play and getting organized. 2. School things. Put a big box where your child can't miss it. School things go in it when she gets home. So does completed homework. 3. Evenings. Together, lay out clothes, make a lunch and pack the backpack.

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