School readiness; are you, the parent ready? (By Sarah Senst)

At this point in September most of our children are settled back in school. How about the parents? It is common for kids to experience varying anxieties as school nears. It may be the first day jitters, middle-school transition or new peer pressures in high school. It is also common for parents to experience worries of their own. Today’s parents are faced with a number of school issues regarding their children. Parents may be concerned about the child’s readiness to start school, their ability to socialize and manage their peers, the influence from technology and media, facing change or experiencing separation. Each of these can be overwhelming for children AND parents to deal with.

 It is important that at the same time you are talking to your child about coping with changes, that you address your own anxieties. A sound support system is one way to do this. Forming a team at your child’s school and getting to know not only the teachers, but staff such as; administration, school counselors, special education leaders and the principal can be most helpful during the early school years. Find other parents of similarly aged children and talk about fears and challenges. Reach out to your community such as religious groups, family and extended family and community service organizations.  Parent s may need as much support as our students to get off to a great start and to work toward a solid educational foundation. We are all part of team, which ones will you join?!

For more ways to support your family and for other great parenting tips call the Family Support Line at 1-800-CHILDREN (800-244-5373) OR 1-866-Las-Familias (866-527-3264) for Spanish speakers. You can also e-mail with questions or concerns. The Family Support Line offers parenting tips, resources and information only and does not serve as legal or mental health advice. We believe you are the paramount person to decide what is best for your family. Comments provided by non-Families First individuals are not the opinion of Families First.

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