Sunday, February 28, 2010

How To Make Family Dinner A Daily Routine?

The primary moments for a family time now happen in the car, instead of at the dinner table. Families are involved in all kinds of activities, sports, and work. According to research by the University of Minnesota, in the past 20 years the number of families who eat dinner together regularly has declined 33%. It has gone so far that we even have an American National Eat Dinner Together Week, from October 1st to 7Th. Stacy DeBroff has some ideas for getting the family eating together:

1. Studies show that teens who dine with their families five or more times a week are twice as likely to receive A's in school as those who have family dinners two or fewer times. This should be a motivator for most families.

2. To make family dinners a priority, resolve to eat dinner together at least four times a week even if it is take-out pizza.

3. Make a scheduled time for dinner and try to stick with that time. If it has to later on some days plan simple meals for the late nights.

4. If you have to eat late because of scheduling, have your child grab a snack to hold them until dinner.

5. Have members of the family make up favorite menus and have the children participate in making the meals.

6. Children love having time as a family and conversation should be light, catching up, sharing tidbits from the day, laughing together, and building intimacy as a family.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

How Can We Be On Time For School?

It is extremely important for your child to be on time for school every morning. The morning route will prepare your child for the day and settle them down for the morning lessons. In order to be on time in the morning do as much as possible the night before. According to, "The Mom Book Goes to School", there are somethings you can do to decrease stress on school mornings:

1. Load the car with the items you and your child need for work or school.

2. Place coats, bags, lunch boxes by the door, so you can grab them easily.

3. Design a shelf, basket, or area in which family members can place items.

4. Check the calendar in case your child needs sneakers for gym or a snack for a field trip.

5. Have your child pick out the clothes to wear the night before or lay out two outfits to choose between .

6. Set clocks ahead by ten minutes to help you stay on time in the morning.

7. Keep breakfast simple. Make hot breakfast items like, pancakes, French toast, and bacon ahead of time and reheat them. Keep muffins, fruit, or granola bars if you are running late.

8. Keep child-sized cups of milk and juice in the refrigerator so your child can get it.

9. If you are a coffee drinker, prepare you coffeemaker and set out mug, cream, and sugar.

10. Make getting dress a game or contest. Who can get completely dress first.

11. Mount an outdoor thermometer where your child child can easily see it, and teach your child how to read it and dress appropriately.

12.Banish TV in the morning to avoid wasting time.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What If My Child Is Constantly Forgetting?

According to "The Mom Book Goes To School", being proactive, especially if you know your child is prone to misplace or forgets things. If your child loses things a lot, ask the teacher to set up email system that let the parents know what projects and homework are assigned. It really is your child's responsibility to keep up with classwork and homework, and let your child know that. Some children need more assistance and below are somethings you can do to help your child:

1. Put complete identification, including phone number, on you child's belongings.

2. At the beginning of the school year create a resource list with the names and phone numbers of homework buddies. Make a note of which friend have a home fax machine in case of forgotten homework assignments.

3.Design a spot by the front door where everything for school goes the night before. (Examples; gym clothes, books, homework, projects, permissions slips)

4. Organizing completed work into the right spot should be an evening ritual.

5. Put sticky notes as reminders in places your child will notice them.

6. Mark on a calendar to remind your child of what is need on what days.

7. Consider buying copies of your child's heavier textbooks to keep at home.
8. Have a special place where your child does all school work. Have all materials and let your child help organize the space.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How Can I Help My Child Become More Responsible?

All parents should teach responsibility at an early age. Your children cannot rely on you do to everything for them. While molding values and guiding decisions are an important part of parenting, you mist have realistic view of your child's strength sand weakness. At some point you must move over and give our child room to grow. According to Stacy DeBroff, a child that is independent and responsible at home will apply the same qualities at school. Below are somethings you can do to help your child become more responsible:

1. Assign chores (Examples: doing laundry, washing dishes, feeding pets, cleaning room, taking out trash)

2. Give your child an alarm clock and let your child be in charge of waking up.

3. Let your child pick out what to wear to school as long as it is reasonable.

4. Let you child learn from mistakes. If your child chooses to get up fifteen minutes late, then let the child deal with possibly missing breakfast or running to the bus.

5. Let your child make small decisions will prepare your child to handle important ones as they grow up.

6.Giving your child responsibility does not mean putting everything on their shoulders. Monitor your child efforts and do not give them more than your child can handle.

To get more information on "Getting The Best Education Possible" order my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible K-6 Grades", at or

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How To Help Your Child Love Learning

A child's academic success is base on the experiences at home. If your child see a good work ethic and an interest in school work at home from you, it will make the love of learning easier. In order to help your child develop a love for learning you must involve your child in activities that are of interest and give your child a new and different way of learning. Some suggestions are to encourage a love for learning are:

1. Go to museums

2. Attend concerts

3. Display academic work

4. Display art work

5. Show value to academic successes as well as other talents

6. Give enthusiastic messages about your child's efforts

7. Ask the teacher to suggest activities that you and your child can do together

8. Apply knowledge your child finds interesting to real life

9. Talk to your child about their school work

10. Encourage your child to reach every possible dream

11. Take you child out to experience as much as possible and discuss each experience

12. Encourage you child to collect things of interest

13. Talk about the future with your child and be encouraging

14. Help your child to be independent as possible

15. Read to your child when they are very young and have them read every evening while you are reading

16. You show a true appreciation and love for learning will go a long way

17. Celebrate academic successes with affection and excitement
18. Participate in as many school and extra curricular events as possible
19. Always remember that you are the role model for your child, so if you show a love and appreciation for learning, your child very well may.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Creating An Academically Friendly Home Environment: Part II

According to Amie Parker a teacher from Lynnwood, Washington the biggest factors in a child's success at school is parental involvement at home and school. The children whose parents listen to them read will learn to read the faster. The children whose parents talk with them regularly have the best vocabulary. The children whose parents explore new things with them have the best background knowledge.

In order to develop an academically friendly home environment, Stacy DeBroff believes the following:

1. Allow your child to do what comes naturally. Learning is an active process at all ages, and hands-on experience is a child's central route to discovering the world. All the academic learning, social skill development, and intellectual and emotional growth your child will experience begins with discovering their surroundings.

2. Studies show that close relationships with their young children help those children succeed academically in later years.

3. Parents must actively organize and monitor your child's time.

4. Parents must help and check homework.

5. Parents must discuss the school day with your child.

6. Parents must encourage their children to believe in themselves.

7. Parents must encourage their children to take reasonable risk.

8. Parents must instill a love for learning and encourage a healthy and positive attitude toward learning by always paying attention to your child's questions, interests and sharing your own.

Tomorrow will be ideas on how to help your child develop a for love learning. To read more ideas on "Getting The Best Education Possible", order my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible K-6 Grades", from or

Monday, February 22, 2010

Creating An Academically Friendly Home Environment: Part I

You are your child's first and most important role model. Your child watches your interactions with other family members, listens to you talk on the phone, and absorbs how you respond to those around you. If you value education, your child will as well, and the morals you stress in the home will guilde your child in the classroom, on the playground, on the sports field, and with peers. There are some things you can try to do to help create a acadeically friendly home environment according to the book, "The Mom Book Goes To School":
1. Children who have constant love and encoragement from parents are more like to enter school with the attitude that they can meet any obstacle head on and defeat it.
2. Nurturing your child' curiosity about the world, sending the message that learning is fun, satisfying and worthwhile.
3. Make home a place from which your child feels free to explore, take risk, and approach challenges with a sense of adventure.
4. Foster your child's abilities, chanllenge your child to improve, and provide support when and
where need most.
5. Be supportive of your child's problems and questions. You have the opportunity to show your child the world on a much broader scale then the teacher can.
6. Don't expect the school or the teacher to do your job of raising your child. It is true you and the school must work together for the academic success of your child child, but ultimately your child is your responsiblilty.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

As A Working Parent, How Can I Volunteer At School?

Working full time or having younger children at home can truly limit how involved you can be at your child's school. At the very beginning of school write a letter to your child's teacher introducing yourself and letting the teacher know you want to be involved. Be honest with the teacher on how much time you can volunteer and any skills you could offer. By being acquainted with your child's teacher early on, you will find it easier to maintain a positive relationship as the year progresses.
There are many ways to get involved in the classroom, even you work full time or have small children at home according to Stacy DeBroff:

1. Put together materials for the art class.

2. Help arrange a class trip from home.

3. Take time off from work or get someone to watch the small ones to chaperone a field trip.

4. Help coordinate a school fund-raiser.

5 Provide refreshments fro an event.

6. Get copies of activities, projects, or test for the entire class. (Copies are getting to be very expensive for the schools and teachers)

7. Give an hour to run a booth at a weekend school event.

8. Cut out patterns or material for a project.

9. Help decorate for special events after school or on the weekends.

10. Correlate and staple activity packets.

Remember your attendance at your child's special events at school shows your child how much you value education. Even if you work or have small children at home, make every effort to be there to cheer you child on. If you can't hire a babysitter, bring the younger children along with you. If you absolutely can't make it, find someone important in your child's life who can.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Can I Volunteer To Do At My Child's School?

Most school welcome parent volunteers. When you show up to help, get there on time and be prepared to do what you promised. Remember to have fun, laugh, and keep a sense of humor about your experience. Below are some ideas on things you can volunteer for according to "The Mom Book Goes To School":

1. Donate materials: Ask the art teacher if they need empty milk cartons, paper-towel rolls, egg cartons, or other recyclable materials for projects or experiments. The librarian my want wildlife magazines or other reading materials.

2. Deliver books to the school that teachers order from public libraries.

3. Sew and decorate costumes for class performances.

4. Make treats for bake sales or for the teachers themselves.

5. Volunteer to be a guide for visitors during Open House Night.

6. Film or take pictures of special classroom events for the teacher.

7. Decorate bulletin boards.

8. Create a classroom website or student newsletter with writing, poetry, or art.

9. Plant flower bulbs with your child outside the school or clean up trash from the playground.

10. Read with a small group of children or to the whole class as a guest reader.

11. Become a tutor or mentor for a child having difficulty with reading or math.

12. Share your cultural background with your child's class around a holiday with a cooking project or craft.

13. Help organize events and activities that link parents, teachers, and students such as a school carnival.

14. Help coordinate a school clothing drive, canned-goods, collections, or book swaps.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Parent Volunteers At School

Volunteering at your child's school by helping the teacher is one of the best things you can do to help you child succeed. Teachers appreciate parent volunteers and notice their contributions. By volunteering in the classroom, you get to know our child's teach on a friendly basis and you will get to know your child's classmates. If you get the know the teacher and build a positive rapport, the teacher may feel comfortable in sharing opinions and solicit your help.

According to Stacy DeBroff, there are certain advantages in volunteering in your child's classroom:

1. The teachers are likely to raise the expectation for your child if they see you are actively involved in school.

2. You get to know the teachers in higher grades, so if you are able to request a teacher, you will be better prepared to select the best option for your child.

3. You will better understand the workings of the school and appreciate the time and hard work it takes to be a teacher. You will also understand how important it is for children to be well behaved, attentive and obedient.

4. You will better understand the needs of the school and can get involved in expanding or starting programs.

5. You will better understand the expectations for your child and better able to help where needed academically.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Should I Do If My Child Is A Bully?

According to Stacy DeBroff, if you receive word that your child has been bullying others, be honest with yourself. Even though your first reaction will probably be to protect your child, don't blame the other children or the person who brought the bullying incident to your attention. If your child has been a ting aggressively or violently, you want to put an end to that behavior as soon as possible so your child can learn to control their actions and interact positively with other children.

Often, parents of bullies simply consider their child a "leader", and fail to consider the implication of their child's action. If the teacher tells you your child got into a fight with another child, you have long and difficult investigation before you. Ask how the fight started and whether she witnessed the event or heard about it secondhand. Get a feel for the classroom climate and find out if there is something that seems to spark your child's inappropriate behavior. Consider why your child has developed aggressive behavior. Is it low self-esteem, academic problems, or problems controlling emotions, or does your child have a lack of social skills. If you feel that this may be a possibility, check into counseling to work out the underlying issues so your child can find success socially.

Let your child know that bullying is unacceptable. Brainstorm with your child and come up with more constructive ways to respond to problems. Look at your child's peer interaction outside of school and at home. Pay close attention to the way they treat siblings. Listen to how they talk about their friends and note whether he belittles or mocks others. If you are brave, talk to other parents, especially your child's friends, and ask them to honestly share with you any concerns they may have.

If you child's behavior warrants discipline, think carefully before choosing the punishment. Yelling will only encourage aggressive behavior. Try to come up with a constructive punishment, such as canceling play time until you see changes in behavior. Cut down on your child's freedom until they show the behavioral changes you want. Make sure if your child has hurt someone, make your child write an apology letter. Review it ti make sure it expresses true remorse and an understanding of the actions. Lastly, consider enrolling your child in a conflict resolution, friendship skills, anger management, or self-defense course to help manage emotions and reactions.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Should I Discuss Bullying With My Child

According to Stacy DeBroff, one of the most common misunderstanding is that bullying is normal and a part of growing up. If you get information that your child is being bullied respond supportive and let your child know you will be there for full support. The best thing you can do is to make your home a refuge where your child feels accepted and loved. Remind the child what is going on is not their fault and the blame belongs on the bully.

Sometimes school officials feel the victim is being attacked because of lack of social skills and will refer the child to counseling. Tell you child the way to fight back is to inform the school authorities or the teachers about what is taking place. Warn your child against engaging in physical retaliation, threats, or other forms of revenge. Your response is important to teaching your child problem-solving skills. If you impulsively change your child's class or school to avoid the bully without exploring other options, you may teach your child to run away form problems instead of confronting them. The most important thing is to keep honest lines of communication open and when or if you feel it is necessary, go to the school to make sure things are being handled and a plan is in place.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bullying At School: Part VI

Make sure you are aware of what is going on with your child at school. Bullying is a real problem and should not be taken lightly. Here are 6 more signs that your child may be having trouble with bullying according to Stacy DeBroff:

1. If your child appears sad, angry, or frightened after receiving a phone call or email.

2. If your child shows physical signs of stress and has problems sleeping.

3. If your child personality undergoes a major shift. For example, may regress, acting infantile or overly clingy. If your child also suddenly acts aggressively toward family members, or develop intense mood swings.

4. If your child withdraws from family and social activities that use to be fun, preferring instead to spend time alone.

5. If your child talks about moving, running away, or changing schools, vocalizing a desire to escape the present situation.

6. A sudden drop in grades may be an appeal to you or the teacher for help, or may be his way of drawing attention away from embarrassing social issues.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bullying At School: Part V

Victims of bullying are often reluctant to seek adult intervention because they believe doing so will only bring about further abuse. It is very important to keep lines of communication open by asking about related, but neutral topics, like classes, friends, and activities. According to Stacy DeBroff, even if your child will not admit to being bullied, there are a number of signs that can give you insight into the situation. Look for the following:

1. If your child shows an abrupt lack of interest in school, experiences a sudden drop in grades, or tries to get out of going to school.

2. If your child changes routine to avoid a time period or situation where it is especially vulnerable. For example, he may avoid gym class or the cafeteria or insist you driving to school.

3. If your child comes home with bruises or loses money and other items frequently without a good explanation.

4. If your child becomes preoccupied with some aspect of appearance such as his weight, hair or glasses.

5. If your child seems fine during the weekend but depressed during the week.

6. If your child appears sad, angry, or frightened after receiving a phone call or email.
Tomorrow will be more signs to look for if your child is being bullied.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bullying At School: Part IV

According to Stacy DeBroff, author of "The Parent Book Goes to School", bullying is a behavior pattern most often learned at home. Bullies often lack close relationships with their parents; this can be the reason they are unable to feel empathy. Also, if a child is physically or emotionally abused, this may cause the thinking that it is alright to interact with others using violent behavior.

While most bullies suffer from low self-esteem, most tend to be outgoing and egotistical. They desire power, think they have a right to control other people's thoughts, actions, and possessions. If you observe an incident of bullying or the school calls you in because you has been involved, recognize the typical defensive reactions of a bully:

1. The bully will deny doing anything wrong or trivialize the event by claiming it was all innocent teasing or fun.

2. He counts on the support of the bystanders to deny the victim's side of the story.

3. He blames the victim for the problem, effectively escaping responsibility by casting the bullied child as the bully.

Bullies are very domineering children. they are usually outspoken, aggressive, controlling, and think nothing is wrong with their behavior. Usually, they're kids with unsupportive parents, but sometimes they have parents who give them too much attention without censoring their bad behavior. Make sure you recognize if your child is a bully by how they interact with siblings and friends.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bullying At School: Part III

It is important to understand the different forms of bullying. Direct bullying includes actions such as physical violence, teasing, taunting, and threatening. Indirect bullying happens when bullies intentionally socially isolate others. Bullying falls into three main categories according to Stacy DeBroff:

1. Physical Bullying: The easiest to identify, this category includes blatant physical attacks such as kicking, punching, hair pulling, and pinching, as well as more violent actions.

2. Verbal Bullying: Verbal attacks include name-calling, gossiping, sexist remarks, sexually suggestive comments, racist or ethnic slurs, unwanted phone calls, and threats (anonymous or otherwise).

3. Emotional Intimidation: This form of abuse diminishes a person's sense of self through isolation and exclusion. Much more common with girls, this type of bullying includes subtle gestures like facial expressions, body language, note writing, whispering, and snickering. Emotional intimidation goes into full swing during the middle school years as children begin to experience the emotional and physical changes of adolescence.

Bullies use an imbalance of power to dominate a victim. This imbalance can involve differences in age, physical size, strength, or popularity. In some instances, many children may band together to target a single child.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bullying At School: Part II

According to Stacy DeBroff, you hear of fewer and fewer behavior problems today because principals, are applying a lot of pressure on the the teachers to keep behavior under control. Teachers often are unaware of the extent to which social problems plague their schools because
most bullying occurs on the playground or after school.
Teachers tend to notice the most trouble making and visible bullies, like those who disrupt class and end up in physical confrontations. Bullying among girls escapes the attention of teachers even more because it is often quieter, less disruptive, and nonphysical.

The tragic events at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, brought the damaging effects of bullying to national attention. Today, students have cyber-bullying, where facebook and social networking can embarrass and humiliate students. More than 60% of victims report that their schools responded poorly or not at all when notified of bullying behaviors. This response may b a result of the fact that parents, teachers, and principals generally underestimate the extent of bullying in their school communities. Parents do not want their child to be either a bully or a victim, and tend to ignore situations of social conflict. Schools must respond aggressively to bullying and make sure the victims of bullying feel safe and the bully understands the behavior will not be tolerated.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bullying At School: Part I

Bullying is a very serious problem to school systems across the country. Bullying is taken very seriously in schools and should be addressed aggressively and never tolerated.

According to Stacy DeBroff, on average 10% of students are loners. These children are rejected by their peers and lack a solid group of friends, attending school with little or companionship. This stress of rejection makes it more difficult for a child to concentrate and function normally during a school day. This makes school an unpleasant place, and leading to academic struggles and behavior problems and frequent absences.

Studies indicate that 75% of children are bullied or harassed at sometime during their school career, 42% of children have personally witnessed bullying, and 56% say they are aware of bulling going on at their school. On any given day, about 25% of students in the United States are victimized by bullies. On child in 10 is regularly bullied, and the repeated abuse impacts students in very way. According to the National Association of School Psychologist, up to 160,000 children stay home from school each day because they fear bullying at school.

Your child's school should have a plan for bullying. If you suspect that your child is being bullied, make sure the administration and the teacher are aware. Don't stop meeting with the school until your child and you feel comfortable with the intervention. Tomorrow I will give you more information on bullying and what can be done to stop it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

After The Parent-Teacher Conference

After having a parent-teacher conference, you should have a pretty good picture of how your child is performing socially and academically. You should also know your child's strengths and weaknesses, with a specific plan in place to help your child move forward. If there are significant problems academic or social, make sure you continue to meet or stay in touch with the teacher until the problems are resolved. Below are some other suggestions you may want to incorporate according to Stacy DeBroff, author of "The Mom Book Goes To School":

1. It is nice to send a note to the teacher after the conference affirming what steps were decided. Make sure you thank the teacher for all the meeting and all the hard work. Not only will the teacher appreciate the note, the teacher will be more willing to meet again and agree upon the plan of action to help your child.

2. Summarize the teacher's suggestions with your child. Discuss the strategy for improvement you and the teacher decided upon. Ask for your child's feedback and consider whatever thought or worries your child might have regarding the plan.

3. Allow some time for any implemented strategies to take hold and produce results before charging back into the teacher's office. No problem can be solved overnight, and some solutions may take a long period of time to show improvement. Keep the teacher informed about the changes you agreed upon and the progress.

4. Schedule a follow-up meeting four to six weeks later, even if the problem seems to have lessened. Both you and the teacher will get closure, and you both can feel good about helping your child overcome the challenging obstacle.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Questions To Ask At A Parent-Teacher Conference: Part II

As promised here are some more questions you can ask you child's teacher during a parent-teacher conference. Below are 7 suggested questions you can ask according to Stacy DeBroff, author of "The Mom Book Goes To School":

1. How are my child's creative thinking and problem-solving skill?

2. Do you group children by ability in reading and math, and if so, into which group has my child been placed?

3. Are there any subject areas in which my child struggles in school or need extra assistance, or seems unmotivated? If so, how can I assist and what can the school offer to get my child back on track?
4. Do you think my child is being challenged academically?

5. Does the school have a program for gifted and talented students? Should my child be tested for it?

6. With whom does my child socialize most in the classroom?

7. How does my child get along with the other kid in the class?

First, listen carefully to all the teacher has to share about your child in the conference. Second, ask your most important questions after listening to the teacher's report and observations. Third, don't overwhelm the teacher with questions. Only ask what is truly important.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Questions To Ask At A Parent-Teacher Conference: Part I

Parent-teacher conferences are the times you can ask questions and get answers on how your child is progressing at school. Make sure you write down any questions you want to ask and take notes if the teacher identifies issues of concern. Below are possible questions to ask during the conference according to Stacy DeBroff, author of "The Mom Book Goes to School":

1. To what extend does my child participate in class activities and discussions?

2. Does my child raise his/her hand often?

3. Is my child shy or disinterested in school?

4. How does my child handle taking tests?

5. What academic progress has my child made?

6. How well does my child listen and work independently?

7. Do you think my child is working up to his/her ability?

8. How does my child compare to the academic expectations for this grade level?

In the meeting with the teacher always keep a level head. When you lay out your concerns, do so in a productive non-confrontational way, and try to be sympathetic. You want to have a positive working relationship with your child's teacher.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Schools and Safety

Madison City, Alabama, had a shooting at Discovery Middle School on Friday afternoon. The result is that there is a 14 year old boy dead from a shot in the back of the head and a 14 year old arrested charged with murder. It was reported that this is the first school shooting in this country for 2010. Sadly, if something isn't addressed it won't be the last. Madison City is an up and coming community that is very concerned with their children, schools, and community.

According to reports everything was done right after the shooting. The school staff, emergency workers, and students knew exactly what to do. The school nurse started emergency treatment immediately and the HEMSI workers were on the scene within 3 minutes. The student that did the shooting was restrained and the school went on code red lock down. According to the news reports everyone was to be commended for their quick reaction.

The question is was there anything that could have been done before this tragedy happened and what went so wrong?

1. First, this can happen to any school in any community and you can never feel beyond this type of incident happening. Madison City is nationally known for their family oriented community and schools.

2. Second, Parents must be aware of what is going on in their child's life. Below are somethings to be aware of with your own child:
- Are they being bullied?
- Are there drugs or alcohol being used?
-Are their fire arms or knives in the child's possession?
-Are there gangs at the school?
- Are there any unusual entries on email or facebook that your child is concerned about?
- Have you checked their room lately for anything unusual?
- Do you talk to your child and know what is going on?
- Is there any change in your child's behavior, appearance, or friends that concerns you?
- Tell your child that it they know someone who has a weapon or plans to harm themself or someone else they need to let an adult immediately. This is never a time to keep a secret.

3. Third, in almost every elementary, middle, and high school, administrators, teachers, and students have concerns for certain student's mental health. Make sure that any mental health concerns are being treated and addressed by professionals.

There is no way to keep tragedies for ever happening, but if parents do their part at home and the school is prepared and does their part, it is less likely to end in the death of a child and other students not feeling safe while at school. We have not gotten all the facts in this shooting, but I am sure there is more to this story. Please pray for the Brown family as they prepare for the funeral of their child and pray for the family of the young man that did the shooting.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

How To Make A Conference With A Teacher Successful: Part II

Yesterday, I gave you five suggestions for having a successful parent-teacher conference. Below are five more suggestions according to Stacy DeBroff, author of "The Mom Book Goes To School":

1. Remember the reason for the conference: The purpose for the conference is not to hear compliments about your child. Rather, it offers a forum for fostering cooperation and communication between you and the teacher to help your child grow, develop, and learn.

2. If you are communicating negative information to the teacher, try to speak for a few sentences at a time and then ask for a reaction. If you offer up a long monologue, you are likely to overwhelm the teacher rather than give the teacher time to reflect and respond to each point you bring up.

3. Ask the teacher to explain if she uses educational jargon that confuses you, or if you need clarification to gain a more complete understanding of what is trying to be said.

4. Avoid lengthy discussions about topics unrelated to the meeting's central purpose. Background information is often helpful, but make sure your real issue does not get overlooked in favor of inconsequential stories or details.

5. Do not waste your time or the teacher's time by focusing on what cannot be changed, such as the school's general curriculum. Concentrate instead on your child's school experience within the teacher's control.

Friday, February 5, 2010

How To Make A Conference With A Teacher Successful

It is very important that you make all parent-teacher conferences throughout the year. These meetings will give you information about expectations and how your child is doing in school. It is also a good time to work together to make sure your child will meet with success throughout the school year. Here are somethings you can do to make sure these meetings run smoothly according to Stacy DeBroff, author of "The Mom Book Goes to School":

1. Be on time: Showing up a few minutes late means less time to discuss any issues.

2. Start the meeting off with a compliment: This should set the teacher at ease and set the tone for the meeting.

3. Watch your body language and facial expressions: Keep constant eye contact and arrange you upper body in a comfortable position

4. Stay open to new possibilities: Don't present issues as though you have already made your mind up about them. You want to keep the lines of communication open.

5. Be a fair and active listener: Listen to what the teacher is actually saying. Keep yourself from interrupting when the teacher is talking.

Tomorrow I will give you more pointers on how to make a parent-teacher conference successful.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How To Become a Positive Parent At School

If you feel that the school your child attends does a reasonably good job you should become involved as a positive partner to make it the best that it can be. It is so important to work as a partner with the school your child attends. Below are some positive traits that a parent should try to incorporate to work as a partner with the school:

1. Public relations parents: These are the parent that is active in the community and goes out a speaks positively about the school and what is going on in the school.

2. Behind the scenes: This parent is rarely visible around the school, but will help in anyway possible.

2. Working parents: These parent works full time and cannot always be at all school functions. These parents will take off from work for important events and appointments. They will volunteer to do things at home or give cash donations.

3. Worker bee: These parents are stay-at-home and will volunteer to do just about anything needed.

4. The ray of sunshine parents: These parents come into the school and willing to meet with administrators and teachers to support school goals. They are positive about the school and everyone trust their input.
5. The skilled parents: These are parents that have special skills that they share with the school and the students. It can be computer tech, tutors, artist, bulletin boards, gardening, or anything need to make the school a better place for the students and the staff.

Make sure you get involved with a positive group of parents that go about trying to make positive changes in the school. It will make all the difference in the experience you will have with the school and the experience your child will have.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How To Avoid Being A Difficult Parent At School: Part II

Yesterday I gave you 6 traits that make you a difficult parent at school. Today I will give you 5 more personalities to avoid while dealing with your child's school. According to Stacy DeBroff, author of "The Mom Book Goes To School" below are some common negative stereotypes:

1. Overachiever: This parent lives vicariously through the high standards she sets for her child and the success that child achieves.

2. Overstressed and overworked: This parent constantly feels stressed and over-committed, yet continues to commit to activities. This parent feels guilty about a lack of involvement and wishes she had time to be more invested in the education of their child.

3. Parent Spy: This parent volunteers in the classroom to keep an eye on the teacher and report back to other parents, the PTA, or the principal.

4. Passive-aggressive: This parent hides behind nasty notes but will not tackle an issue with a teacher face-to-face. When a teacher approaches a passive-aggressive parent in person, the parent take on a much friendlier persona.

5. Well-intentioned by completely unreliable: This parent wants to be involve but make promises that are never followed up on.

Make sure you do not display any of these negative stereotypes. It will make your and your child's school experiences much more negative then it has to be. Tomorrow I will give you some positive stereotypes you will want to incorporate.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How To Avoid Being A Difficult Parent At School

I think it is extremely important for parents to realize that a teacher has the responsibility for satisfying many other students and parents besides yourself. You should be willing to forgive if your child's teacher makes a mistake or fails to devote full attention to your specific issue. Make sure you are being reasonable in every situation you address.

If you are constantly are confronting your child's teacher with questions about minor issues and request conferences, the teacher will quickly feel annoyed, and become increasingly evasive. Never storm into a meeting angry and ready for an argument. Calm yourself down and make sure you are ready to listen and evaluation the entire situation. According to Stacy DeBroff, author of " The Mom Book Goes To School", here are the things that make a parent difficult for a school setting.

1. Complainer: This is parents frequently calling the teacher or drops in on the classroom to gripe about minor details.

2. Confrontational: This parent constantly pesters the teacher and is unwilling to list to feed back and suggestions.

3. Meddler: This parent typically micromanages every detail of their child's education and personal life.

4. Needy: This parent is on whose hand the teacher has to hold thought every step of the child's education

5. Nowhere-to-be-found: This parent is almost impossible to track down and is never available when teachers need to meet.

6. Overreacting: This parent's first instinct is to barge into the school highly agitated, emotional and irrational.

7. Overachiever: This parent lives vicariously through the high standards they set for the child and the success that child achieves.

Tomorrow I will list 5 more difficult parent personalities and list some positive traits all parents should have.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Child Has Behavioral Problems At School!

Sometimes children have behavioral problems at school. These problems are sometimes shocking to the parents, but remember most children behavior differently at school then they do at home. Most report cards have a section on your child's in-school behavior. Even if your child excels in school work, a negative mark or comment on behavior should be a serious concern. Ask your child what he/she thinks these marks mean. So many times parents cannot believe their child misbehavior's in school. It is a rare situation that a teacher would tell you something untrue about classroom behavior, so keep an open and calm attitude during this process. Here are some suggestions to try if your child is having such problems at school:

1. Ask the teacher what specific types of behavior is exhibited during school. When, where, and why is this behavior happening?

2. A lot of times just changing a child's seat can help if there is another child distracting your child.

3. Draw up a behavioral plan with the teacher. If this behavior happens first; if it continues then; the consequences the third time will be. Make sure you are specific in what you and the teacher expect, and explain things to your child in clear and simple terms.

4. If your child's poor behavior is constant, your may need to identity the root of the problem. Begin by ruling out physical causes, such as ADD. Problems hearing or vision, learning disorders, or issues with peers may all cause rebellious behavior.

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This weblog seeks primarily to be a resource to parents and their children facilitating, "Empowerment & Personal Responsibility through Education."

This weblog is an extension of BestEducationPossible-theCommunity an online community dedicated to Parents and their efforts to empower their children through Education.

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