With over seven million children being raised full time by grandparents and millions more children in the daily care of grandparents, this piece is for you.
“Although kids and grandparents are still relishing the last days of summer, there are several important steps that grandparents should take now, in August, to make the transition back to school as smooth as possible,” according to Toni Schutta, M.A., L.P., parent coach and author of the parenting book “20 Great Ways to Raise Great Kids,” a one-of-a-kind resource with 20 chapters containing need-to-know parenting strategies from America’s top experts that’s available free at: http://getparentinghelpnow.com/book3.htm
“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 grandchild,” Schutta said. “An increase in temper tantrums, whining, and defiance at home is common when school starts. Grandparents can take steps now to minimize the difficulty, however,” Schutta said.
The best response is for grandparents 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.”
- Scale back the bedtime hour now. 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.
- Shop for school supplies with your grandchild. Your grandchild will gain a sense of ownership by picking his/her own supplies.
- Provide daily learning time. Set aside at least 15-30 min. per day for “education time” before school starts so homework time won’t come as such a shock.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
About Toni Schutta: 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. Toni hosted “Real Parents. Real Solutions” a parenting talk show on www.voiceamerica.com, the world’s largest internet radio station and has been featured in national publications such as Parents, Woman’s World, and First for Women.
Toni Schutta, M.A., L.P.
The Parent Coach Who Gets Results
Get Parenting Help Now
Where Peaceful, Happy Families are Possible
Author of the Newly Released Book: 20 Great Ways to Raise Great Kids available free at: http://getparentinghelpnow.com/book3.htm