Here we go, Frederick County!
Tips for drivers: Whether or not you have a child heading back into the classroom, if you’re planning to be on the road tomorrow morning it’s a good idea to leave for your destination a little early. The school buses and teen drivers will be back on the roads, so you’ll have more company. Also:
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential areas and school zones.
- Look for kids at intersections, on medians and near curbs.
- Take it easy entering and exiting driveways and alleys.
- Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on what’s going on around you. Remember using your hand-held cell phone while driving is illegal in Maryland.
Tips for kids: We’ll start with getting to and from school safely, but there’s a lot more to consider below.
- All kids should cross the street with an adult until they are 10 years old.
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks (where available).
- Always walk far enough in front of the school bus that the bus driver can see you.
Backpack Safety: Remember to pack it light and wear it right! Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Encourage your kids to use both straps to distribute the weight evenly. Remember a backpack should never weigh more than 10-20% of the wearer’s body weight.
Bullying: The AAP recognizes bullying as when one child picks on another repeatedly in a physical, verbal, or social way. If your child is the one being bullied, they recommend helping him or her respond by looking the bully in the eye, staying calm and walking away. Teach him or her statements like “I don’t like what you’re doing,” or “please don’t talk to me like that” so they have something in mind for a response if needed.
Be sure to teach your child when and how to ask for help if they’re being bullied. Let a teacher or another adult who can look out for your child know the bullying is going on.
If your child is the bully, the AAP stresses setting firm, consistent limits on aggressive behavior and being a positive role model, showing you can get what you want without teasing, threatening, or hurting someone.
If your child is a bystander, he or she should know it’s not okay to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying. Encourage your child to include the bullied child in activities and give them some social support. Above all, make sure your child knows they can and should step up and tell the bully to stop.
Homework Habits: Make sure your child develops the right kind of homework and study routine with these tips:
- Create a quiet space with plenty of room to spread out books, notebooks, papers, etc. that’s just for homework.
- Schedule homework time into the after-school schedule. Establish a rule that the TV stays off during homework time.
- If your child is struggling and you can’t help yourself, reach out to a tutor (maybe even a friend or another child in the class).
- Break up study sessions by letting kids take a few minutes to stretch and give their eyes a rest.
It’s a lot to review, remember and keep up through the school year, but that’s why your children have you to help them! Set them up for success and have a great year!