Back to School 101 – Tips for Parents 

Parents, it’s time to put on your thinking caps for a quick quiz; don’t worry, you won’t be graded. But knowing the answers can help you get your child off to a good start to the school year.

Overcoming First Day Jitters

You can help reduce your child’s anxiety about going to school by:

a)    Describing what school will be like and what will happen during the day.

b)    Taking your child to visit the school before classes begin.

c)     Setting up play dates with other children outside of school.

d)    All of the above.

The answer is D. Parents can help make school an exciting and positive experience for their children by following these simple steps along with establishing a regular routine prior to the start of the school year. Once school has started, parents should talk with their children about school activities and give them positive feedback about their new experiences.

Packing a Lunch

Pack a lunch for your child that:

a)    Contains whole-grain breads and lean meat.

b)    Includes water or milk instead of soda.

c)     Uses a cold pack or thermos to maintain proper food temperatures.

d)    All of the above.

The answer is D. A healthy diet not only helps children learn and grow, but may also help prevent obesity and diabetes. By limiting fast food and junk food, and eating a nutritious lunch, your child will have more energy to finish school and enjoy after-school activities.

Okay parents, you’re halfway finished with this quiz. Just a couple more correct answers and you’ll have an A+.

Buying Lunch at School

Your child brings home the school menu. You:

a)    Review the school menu with your child and recommend healthier items.

b)    Allow your child to choose a favorite item on occasion.

c)     Encourage your child to take a lunch from home sometimes.

d)    All of the above.

The answer is D. Teach children how to make healthy food choices that add up to a big nutritional difference. They can choose skim milk instead of fruit punch; trail mix instead of cookies; or baked chips instead of a fried snack. Eating healthy today can reduce the risk of weight-related diseases later.

Carrying a Backpack

Parents should buy a backpack for their child that:

a)    Has wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.

b)    Weighs less than 10 to 20 percent of the child’s body weight when packed.

c)     May have rollers.

d)    All of the above.

The answer is D. Children need to pack light and organize their backpacks so heavier items are in the center of the back. Children should avoid wearing it on one shoulder since this may strain muscles and increase curvature of the spine.

Great job parents! With your support and understanding, the first days of school can be fun and memorable for your child. Don’t forget to point out the exciting things about going back to school, such as seeing old friends and making new ones. By learning how to make decisions on his or her own, and applying that knowledge in a real-world environment, your child will be ready not just for school, but for life.