AAP Offers 15 Tips to Help Young Kids Start, Return
The time is at hand. School for some youngsters
begins as early as next week in some parts of the
country - although, in some others, there's still
another month of vacation. And while there are lots
of kids who are a little wobbly about that first
day, the ones most fearful are those getting ready
to go to school for the first time.
||To help parents ease
all the fears, the American Academy of Pediatrics
has put out 15 tips. All are seen as helping getting
the new school year off to a good start; all involve
patience and understanding on a parent's part.The tips are:
- Before the first day of school, parents should drive or
walk the school route to become familiar with the new trek and
- Especially for new students, parents should arrange to
visit a school and the child's new classroom before the first
day. If possible, arrange to meet with new classmates in a
get-familiar play session.
- Parents of children who walk to school should assess the
route for safety, finding out where crossing guards are
situated and checking out the traffic patterns.
- Tell kids they should stay on sidewalks and main roads,
and not cut through woods, alleys or deserted areas.
Older siblings should ride or walk with younger ones. Or, if
the child doesn't have siblings, see if an older neighbor
child can walk or ride with your kids.
- Children who ride on a bus should review safety rules,
such as waiting for the bus to stop before attempting to get
on or off.
- Let the principal's office know if a child is going to be
absent from school.
- Give kids options for dealing with bullies, such as
walking away or telling the kid to stop.
If that doesn't work, discuss a persistent bully with your
- Encourage kids to talk about fears of violence, and
explain how to avoid dangerous situations and what has been
done to assure a child's safety.
- Arrange for a space at home to do homework that's free of
clutter and distractions - and away from a TV set.
Show interest in a child's class work. Check homework and help
- If a child is having trouble completing his or her
homework, parents should consider cutting back after-school
activities and making sure there's supervised homework time
during after-school care.
- Arrange for a tutor if your child is having trouble with a
particular subject. Consult with a child's teacher.
- Allow time for free play in your child's schedule.