Therapy Center for Children Offers Tips to Make the School Year FUN and SUCCESSFUL
Going back to school can be a stressful time for any child, parent, and teacher. Therapy Center for Children, LLC is offering parents tips to help make their child’s return back to school — and the rest of the school year — more enjoyable and fun.
Being Positive is the Key
Positive thinking and a positive attitude will greatly help parents and their children get through the school year. Parents, remember to keep the important things you do for yourself in your routines. This helps us adults to stay organized and stay positive. Planning outfits and lunches for the week can also help with organization and may create more time each morning. Continue to prepare your children by telling them what they can expect each day and reward their small successes.
It’s All About Clothing
Dressing children in comfortable, non-restrictive clothing may make the day easier for most children. Layering clothing items the first few weeks of school is typically the way to go in this geographic area. If your child is comfortable and confident, that will transfer to other aspects of their school day.
Stay Calm Throughout the After-School Madness
After-school therapy/activities are often supportive and may help children function happily and successfully in the classroom — or can add stress and frustration if it’s not the “just right challenge.” Re-evaluate the importance of these activities periodically to be sure that all the driving around is really getting your child somewhere.
Only Worry if Necessary
Parenting any child is challenging. Worrying about school may be unavoidable, but not the most effective way for parents to tackle problems. It may make your child feel stressed out and worried to see their parents stress out and worry. If you're happy, ultimately your child will be happy. Keeping healthy routines is the key to wellness.
Reading is Important
Whether it’s a book for school or a book on their own, children benefit when they make reading a daily routine. For extra motivation, try implementing a reward system.
Know What You’re Talking About
It’s empowering for parents when they have a good command of the “fancy terms.” Become familiar with Individual Education Plan (IEP) acronyms and terms. A list of terms and acronyms is available on therapycenterforchildren.com.
Address Downtime Problems
Children may be doing fine in school with their teacher or aides, but there are parts of the day that are less structured (recess, lunch, gym, the bus). Parents may want to be mindful of those times and also see how their child is doing during those parts of their day as well.
Meet the Teacher… Often
The teacher will be spending five days a week for six hours a day with your child. Sometimes, children may act differently at home than they do in the classroom. Teachers are particularly important when there’s a specific problem, but meetings with the child’s teacher are always useful in keeping up with their progress and addressing any problems before they start.
Keeping a notebook of any contact made with teachers, administrators and aides can be very helpful, not only as a reference guide of progress, but also to get things done. It is much easier to remember specific dates and conversations if it is written down rather than attempting to recall them from memory.
Sitting Still Can Be Hard
“Sit still” is a demand placed onto us but often not easy to comply with. If the teacher regularly complains to the parent about their child’s inability to sit still, both the parent and the teacher should work on some ideas to implement on managing movement and increasing comfort. For some ideas, please reference our website.
Check Your Child’s Backpack
Besides being too heavy to lift (which can increase the potential for serious back concerns), backpacks can hide many important things parents need to know about, such as a letter from the teacher, another child’s toy or homework that is due tomorrow. Parents should check their child’s backpack daily for anything they may have missed and to make sure it is not too heavy.
Make Mornings More Efficient
Having a morning routine is important for all children, especially children that function better with structure. Parents should make sure their children wake up at the same time every day and give them plenty of time to get ready, especially if they are slow to rise in the morning. Their children’s clothes should be laid out the night before and lunch should be ready. Parents should offer their child a sensible breakfast and let them go over their day ahead with their parents. This is how many adults and children are the same; we all tend to work better when this routine is implemented.
Get the Lay of the Land
Having a good working knowledge of the administration, faculty and staff and layout of that building will help you be an effective advocate.
Keep a School Year Calendar
Just like a notebook is important, having important dates and events on a school calendar is very important for organization.
“We urge all parents to keep these important tips in mind to help themselves and their child’s school year go by smoothly,” said Kim Foschi, MS.Ed and ongoing service coordinator for the Therapy Center for Children, LLC. “Navigating through the numerous obstacles that appear as the school year progresses can be difficult. But if parents follow these simple strategies, their child will have a successful and enjoyable school year.”
For more information, call (631) 207-1053 or visit therapycenterforchildren.com.
Article provided by Kimberly Foschi MS, Sp. Ed., OSC and Christina Bellini MS OTR/L