Back-to-School Advice for Parents
How to ease the transition back to school.
The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families is offering advice for parents as children go back to school. Most Arlington Public School students begin classes on Tuesday.
It all starts with a healthy breakfast, said Mary Ann Moran, assets liaison and founding member of the partnership.
“Although you can’t make kids eat or sleep, you can create an environment and set boundaries that encourage getting enough sleep and healthy eating,” Moran said.
- A healthy breakfast is vital. If you have a picky eater, get creative and offer choices. Any healthy food is good for breakfast — even pizza or PB&J.
- On average, elementary school children need 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Teens need 8 to 9 hours. Setting a regular bed time helps.
- No one can sleep with a cell phone under the pillow. Consider collecting all electronic devices at bedtime. Children can retrieve them in the morning.
- Plan ahead to avoid scrambling-to-get-ready syndrome. It’s a bad way to start anyone’s day.
According to a survey of 1,651 students in Arlington, only 24 percent of eighth- to 10th-graders report having parents involved in school.
One way to participate is to have real conversations about school. “Do you have homework?’’ is not a conversation starter. Instead, parents might say:
- Who did you eat lunch with?
- Why did you choose that particular book for your report?
- Tell me about your new teacher. (Instead of “Is your teacher nice?”)
- Tell me about the kids in your class.
- When I went into __ grade, I remember feeling _______.
- If your child doesn’t want to talk when they get home from school or you first come home from work, try again later, Moran said.
For more survey results, click here.