School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick!
Very few of us remember the words to the above tune. I remember it as a very small kid. If you don’t remember, don’t fret – it was published 115 years ago. Let’s go forward a few decades and challenge your expertise in music:
Up in the mornin’ and out to school
The teacher is teachin’ the golden rule
American history and practical math
Your studyin’ hard and hopin’ to pass
Workin’ your fingers right down to the bone
And the guy behind you won’t leave you alone.
There are a lot more lyrics, but if you don’t have it by now, you won’t get it. This was a famous song by the great Chuck Berry, released in 1957. I wasn’t even born then! So, if those two don’t do it for you, lets skip forward to this generation.
Back to school
Back to school
To prove to dad that I’m no fool
I’ve got my lunch packed up,
My boots tied tight,
I hope I don’t get in a fight
So, did you get that one? C’mon! Adam Sandler sang that in Billy Madison. My kids hate it when I sing that to them. Well that is enough of nostalgic lyrics. Let’s get to the point. It’s school time again. Some of your kids have likely already started school so by the time you read this, some of the advice may be a little late but you can catch up.
Here are just some tips for the beginning of the new school year.
1. Anxious parents send anxious kids to school. Stay calm. Model to your children that all is well with the world and today is going to be a great day. After you drop them off or they get on the bus, you can join the grieving mom group or have a personal celebration at home with your spouse!
2. Talk to your children about school. Let them share the highs and lows of their day. Invite them to tell you what they are enjoying and any fears they have. When everyone is relaxed, have an empowering talk about conflict and how best to deal with it
3. Get a solid routine going. After school activities to unwind – play outside, video games, TV, etc. After unwind, get the homework done (parental participation in homework and projects is wonderful bonding time – just don’t do it all for them!). Have dinner as a family if at all possible and process everyone’s day. Have a set routine after dinner. NO CAFFEINE. Warm baths or showers before bed and a snack. At an early hour, cell phones in the kitchen, video games off, TV off, lights out. (Set all clocks ten minutes ahead – you will thank me).
4. Make a calendar. School can get wildly busy with all of the extracurriculars and if you are not careful, there won’t be enough hours in the day. Post a calendar and don’t be afraid to say no to some events. Your kids don’t know when to stop – you need to protect them from exhaustion and burnout.
5. When your kids mess up – and they will – don’t panic. They are going to be okay. Time will pass, they will graduate and they will become successful adults. Think back on your own teenage years. Uh oh.
And, enjoy this season. They come and go very rapidly and before you know it you will be wishing you could do just one more first day of school.
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