Study guide

. August 2, 2012.
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“In middle school, my son was ‘too cool’ to admit his anxiety about entering a new building, but I had him go with me before school started and we found each of his classes. As we found a classroom I would state, ‘Look, this one is right next to the drinking fountain … so you can always get a drink before algebra.’ While he rolled his eyes, he admitted that it made it easier the first day because he remembered all our landmarks and didn't have to ask anyone.” Dawn Taylor, guidance counselor, Bennett Venture Academy

“After school, whenever you first see your child, set the tone for the evening. Take a look at homework and make a plan for when things will get done.  The sooner you can jump into homework and get it out of the way, the better.” Kerry Buhk, clinical psychologist, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital

“If your son or daughter is unable to sit still, cooperate, or focus, it needs to be dealt with immediately. Students who struggle with ADHD or ADD hear an average of 70% of their communication as negative. Constant ‘sit down, be quiet, change your chart, etc.’ rules take a toll on the child's self-worth. Don't set them or their teachers up. And if your child's medication is typically out of their system by 4 o'clock, don't ask them to sit down at 7 o'clock and do homework.” Dawn Taylor, guidance counselor, Bennett Venture Academy
 

“The most important thing to tell your kids when they walk out the door is that you love them and are proud of them. Second most
important [thing] is that you always expect them to do their very best at anything they do and to be themselves.” Sarah Barman, high school guidance counselor, Toledo Public Schools

“I think it’s a good idea to let [children] help with packing lunch, or do it with some minimal supervision depending on how old they are. The more input they have, the more likely they are to eat it.” Erin Hearl, clinical dietitian at Mercy Children's Hospital

“When it comes to homework, some students need a break when they get home and cannot do homework immediately. Others will never do it if not done immediately and need to start on it right away. BE REALISTIC about what is expected. Keep in mind these children have been in a setting for 6 plus hours. Sometimes they need a break. Also, keep in mind that some students who have to take medication for ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] or ADD [attention deficit disorder] cannot do homework later as their medication may no longer be in their system.” Dawn Taylor, guidance counselor, Bennett Venture Academy

“Freshman year sets the tone for a student's entire high school and higher education career, as well as life beyond. There are many services available in the schools to assist students academically as well as emotionally. Make sure your student knows you value them and their education. Set high expectations for them and they will live up to those expectations. They do want to please you, even if they would never admit it to you or anyone else!” Sarah Barman, high school guidance counselor, Toledo Public Schools

 

“Sleep deprivation is real. A couple weeks before school starts, you have to make the transition. It is important for your child to get back on track. Ideally, children should have 8 or 9 hours of sleep. Younger children need even more. During the school year, try to not vary the routine too much on weekends.” Kerry Buhk, clinical psychologist, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital

“I think small children, in early elementary school, a portion size of half a sandwich is appropriate. Fruit servings are one small piece of fruit or a half a cup of canned fruit. Milk should be 8 ounces, and if there’s going to be a treat, like cookies, one to two small cookies is acceptable.” Erin Hearl, clinical dietitian at Mercy Children's Hospital

“Parents of younger children should reach out and connect with the teacher right up front. It will provide a tremendous sense of comfort when they know who their child will be spending their days with and feel comfortable with their surroundings. While many parents love to celebrate and make a huge deal out of their child's first day, often it leads to extra anxiety and sometimes creates even more stress.” Dawn Taylor, guidance counselor, Bennett Venture Academy
 

“When it comes to dressing older kids, parents still have the final say. But allow room to negotiate, and don’t be a dictator. You have to choose your battles. Ask yourself, is this worth fighting about? Try to be as flexible as you can within the limits you are comfortable with. As long as kids adhere to the school’s dress code, don’t let it become that big of a deal.” Kerry Buhk, clinical psychologist, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital

"We stress either bringing water from home or buying milk at school, so you don't have to worry about keeping milk cold and safe. Avoid sugary drinks and limit fruit juice. Sugary drinks and fruit juices have calories and sugar, and as we know kids these days are usually getting plenty of calories [already]. Obesity is on the rise, so we suggest more water." Erin Hearl, clinical dietitian at Mercy Children's Hospital

“The best way to be prepared for the first day of school is to attend the orientation at the school at the beginning of the year to meet teachers, administrators, coaches, club advisors, and upper classmen. All of these people can help [your children] acclimate to the building and give [them] hints for being prepared to make their high school career the best it can be.”  Sarah Barman, high school guidance counselor, Toledo Public Schools

“Remember that some anxiety is normal. Sometimes kids start expecting things to turn out badly with zero evidence. This is known as anticipatory anxiety. Describe that first day in the most positive, optimistic way possible. If you can, with a new school, do a dry run or two. And be relaxed and confident yourself; it will be a huge help to your kids.” Kerry Buhk, clinical psychologist, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital