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Sunday Post: Close-Up: Simple Tips for First Day of School Anxiety

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is CLOSE-UP.

I know I’ve used this photo before…but it personifies “CLOSE-UP” perfectly.

Do you practice attached parenting?  Are you a helicopter mom?  Have you encouraged your child’s independence?

No matter what type of parent you are, you may be experiencing some anxiety as you send your child off for the first day of school.

Many children also have concerns about school.  Will they like the teacher?  Will the other kids be nice?  Will they find their way around the maze of hallways and classrooms? (I get lost when I do school visits)  Will they ever see you again?

Here are five simple steps that will make the transition from home to school smoother.

1.    Have an upbeat, matter-of-fact, positive attitude about school.

2.    If your child has not been there yet, arrange for a visit before school starts.

3.    Connect with parents of other children in the class and have play dates with your child’s classmates…children feel more at ease when they see friendly faces in the classroom.

4.    If you don’t have a routine in place for bedtime and getting-ready-for-the-day-in-the-morning time, put them in place now.  Make it a habit to discuss plans for the next day in the evening and lay out clothes and anything else needed the night before.  When school starts, your child will be used to getting things ready and you won’t have that last minute rush in the morning to find the missing shoe or backpack.  Regarding bedtime, please make sure you are allowing plenty of time for your child to get ready (brush teeth, wash, lay out clothes and necessary items, story-time, etc.) and still be getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

5.    Make sure your child is eating a good breakfast in the morning…when school starts, this will be even more important.  My younger son loved pizza.  Some children might prefer eggs and toast, cereal with fruit and milk, French toast and bacon or pancakes with fruit toppings.  How about peanut butter and banana on whole wheat bread?

 

Many times, children who are fussy eaters become better eaters when you let them help out in the kitchen.  If you are looking for some simple child-friendly recipes, Show Me How! has one hundred of them and teams each cooking activity with a picture book suggestion and a quick and easy eco-friendly arts and crafts project.  You can order a copy on my website at less than 50% of the cover price.  The book is available for shipment to Canadian residents also!

Studies show that the quality time you spend with your young children now has a positive impact on their school performance.  This is a great opportunity to get a wonderful resource you can use on a daily basis, year after year.  Show Me How is an award-winning book endorsed by parents, teachers and national organizations such as the JDRF.  To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you need to be in their lives today.  This is a book that makes it easy and fun to be in your children’s lives today!  Don’t put it off until tomorrow!

Another thing not to put off until tomorrow: if you’d like to nominate your child’s school or other childcare facility in the Show Me How School Initiative, please don’t forget to leave a comment with the school’s name.  If you don’t have young children, but know people who do, tell them about the free book their child’s school can receive!

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post…click on a link and travel around the world:

http://p0nky.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/sunday-post-close-up/

http://blueberriejournal.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/close-up-2/

http://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/cheese-less-pesto/

http://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/sunday-post-close-up/

http://bodhisattvaintraining.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/sunday-post-close-up/

http://perceptionsofareluctanthomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/jakes-sunday-post-close-up/

http://inspirationimport.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/my-mothers-eyes-close-up/

Related Posts:

http://tracycampbellwriter.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/week-6-summer-short-sweet-challenge-have-you-been-bullied/

http://spanishpinaynanay.blogspot.com/2012/04/show-me-how-book-attached-parent-will.html

Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian Travels to Chicago

Downtown from the lakefront, Chicago, IL, USA

Frank Sinatra sang songs about many of the cities that he loved…New York – San Francisco – Chicago.

After a fantastic long weekend in Chicago, I’ll have to echo some of his words (written by Sammy Kahn and Jimmy Van Heusen):

Chicago is one town

That won’t let you down

It’s my kind of town.

I arrived on Friday morning and spent the day relaxing with my son and daughter-in-law at their home.  Visiting with them is like going to a spa…they LOVE to cook “healthy” and every morning they start the day with a bowl of fresh fruit…mangoes, papayas, bananas, apples, peaches…drizzled with a little honey.  For lunch each day, my son made a huge vegetable salad bowl for each of us…cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms…all topped with some capers and a splash of aged blueberry balsamic   vinegar.

My book event, Starting School Jitters Be Gone, on Saturday at Lollie, a children’s boutique in Evanston, just 20 minutes north of downtown Chicago, was so much fun!  This shop is an amazing place…filled with many handmade and locally designed clothes and accessories, as well as other unique items for infants, toddlers and children.  The owner is knowledgeable, helpful and a really lovely lady…I know if I lived in the Chicago area, I’d stop in there for any new baby gifts I needed, as well as for birthday and Christmas presents for any little ones on my list.

Of course, Mother Nature had her own plans for 11am, the time the first presentation was to start.  The skies over the entire Chicago area darkened, and the heavens poured forth a torrential rainstorm, accompanied by huge claps of thunder and crackling flashes of lightening. 

Inside Lollie, however, everything was bright and cheery.  A group of young children listened attentively as I read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  As the story about Chester unfolded, the children heard how the little raccoon, anxious about his first day of kindergarten, learned a secret from his mother that helped him overcome his fear and go to school with eager anticipation. 

After the story reached its happy conclusion, I showed the children a sample of the craft project and explained how we would all be making “Kissing Handprints”…deciding who we loved and who loved us and then drawing in the features for each person (or pet or stuffed animal) on each finger.

Parents and children clustered around the craft table and we proceeded to draw an outline of each child’s hands.  The hum of happy children, busily engaged in a constructive activity with their parents, is definitely music to my ears.  “This finger is going to be my mommy” said one little girl.  “And those are my dogs” she added.

The storm had ended by the time the second presentation was over.  My son and daughter-in-law, who had brought me and had assisted during the program, helped me pack everything up.  I’m looking forward to my next trip to Chicago…Lollie’s owner has invited me to come back to do another program, whenever I’m in town.  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is available at the shop for those of you who are in the Chicago area.

The next few days were filled with family visits, an afternoon at the beach – unbelievable to have a REAL sandy beach with what looks and smells like the ocean (it’s really Lake Michigan) right across the street from the downtown area of a major city – and an architectural river boat cruise.  It was difficult to leave…I’m already looking at my calendar to see when my next jaunt to Chicago will be.

My next post will be a review of a children’s book, A Reel Cool Summer, written by Martha Rodriguez.  We connected online and she loved my book and did a great review of it.  I brought her book on my trip and was able to share it with my great-niece and great-nephew…they absolutely loved it and were totally engaged in the story…so  in my next post, it will be my turn to tell everyone why they need to run out and get a copy of Ms. Rodriguez’ fun-filled book for children ages 6-9.

Photo credit: Thanks to JCrocker for the Chicago skyline pic.

Why I LOVED the start of school

I know that many parents are anxious about their child starting school.  I’ve addressed that in previous posts as well as how to help a child who is anxious about going to school.  I began thinking about how I felt when my children started school: EXCITED, EAGER and HAPPY, and how my children felt about going to school: as far as I know they were EXCITED, EAGER, and HAPPY. And, even though it was a very LONG time ago, I can still remember how EXCITED, EAGER, and HAPPY I was when I started school.

So what did my mother do all those years ago to help me and my sister look forward to going to school with eager anticipation?  I know that I tried to copy her winning formula when it came time to send my own children to school. 

  • My mother had a matter-of-fact, upbeat and positive attitude about us going to school.  I never heard her say anything negative about the school or our teachers.  Children are so very sensitive to our emotions…if we are tense and anxious about something, they probably will be also.
  • We went to a neighborhood school, so we knew many of the children in our classes.  Try to make sure that your child has visited the school before the first day…you can also try to connect with other parents of his classmates and arrange playdates so that your child will feel more comfortable with the other children.
  • We got a new pair of SCHOOL shoes and a new outfit to wear on the first day.  And, when we got home from school each day, we took off our school clothes and put on play clothes.  Somehow, that made “school” a very special place.  Encourage your child to lay out his clothes the night before each school day…this will help lessen the last-minute rush in the morning.
  • My mother encouraged us to bring friends home after school (she was a stay-at-home mom…as were most moms in those days).  Whether you have a career or not, try to set aside some time, perhaps on the weekend, to enable your child to get together with some of her classmates.  Maybe you can form a group with several parents and alternate having a little monthly party to celebrate one of the children’s birthdays, a holiday or whatever you wish.
  • She loved hearing about our day at school…she was a great listener…what we did was important to her and she was happy to help us with homework or studying.  In the early grades, I can remember sitting at the kitchen table and having her help me cut and glue magazine pictures.  When I was in high school (and even in my college years), I can remember sitting on the floor at her feet, pad of paper and pen in hand, asking her, “Mom, how can I start this paper?”…and she would throw out several ideas and off I would go, scribbling like a maniac.  Often, I would wind up changing the beginning that she had suggested, but her encouragement and willingness to help gave me the courage to trust my own inspiration and creativity.  Try to be there for your child…always be ready to listen.
  • As the school year progressed, my parents attended as many school functions as they could, whether it was a meeting with the teacher or a play we were in.  This showed me that what happened at school was important to my parents, and therefore, to me.  Do your best to fit school functions into your schedule…if you are not able to attend an event, make sure there is someone else there to represent you so that your child doesn’t feel you don’t care…because then he might not either.

So why did I love the start of school: I believed my parents loved it also, I had new clothes and new shiny shoes, I was going to spend the day with friends, I knew my parents loved me, and I felt that school (and learning) was IMPORTANT.  When my children were ready to attend school, I tried to recreate what my mother had done for me.  And I hope that my children will do the same for their children.

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