Excuse me, are you listening? 14-16
Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rina Risper, President & Publisher of The New Citizens Press

Dear Readers,
I cannot believe that school began for my youngest on August 10th.  I am not sure if I will indeed go crazy this year or just need to cope with for the first time having two children in two separate schools for the first time ever.  I wonder how they will fare not being together for the first time since they are 15 months apart.
I am the proud mother of 3 and my last 2 are 13 and 14.    I found being this age to be quite challenging for me.  I am praying that my children fare a lot better than I did.
The things that I am worried about  have more to do with the contact and influence others will have on them.  As parents, most of us try to do our best to take care of our children mentally and physically.  However, they are not with us for most of the day.  The influence of peers may win them over.  I wonder have I taught them enough.
My daughter goes to high school this year.  Her former school was very small, therefore, a drama filled day was basically minor complaints.  I worry about dealing with addiction, cutting, eating disorders and other issue that deal with suicide.  I wonder if they will have any friends who will be going through issues.  I wonder if they will tell me.  I wonder how I would deal with their emotional reactions.  I wonder if they will be able to manage their workload and make new friends.  They are both so different.
I am already concerned that they stay up late and rise late.  During the summer it is all right.  My youngest used to be excited about the start of the new year.   This year he was less than enthusiastic.   I wonder if he will be prepared.
There are a few things that should be done before the school year begins.  You as a parent should make sure that all of the paperwork needed to register for classes has been completed.  This may mean asking your own children if there is anything in their bag from last year or have they become aware of any school year changes.  Contact the main office to find out  the hours, bus schedules and you should have taken a tour of the school.  Also find out if there is going to be an orientation, especially if your child is going to a new school.
Make sure that you get yourself in order by checking coats, shoes, boots and tennis shoes.  Please checking clothing and make sure that what is being worn is appropriate for you and the school.  It will be snowing before we know it so it will be a good idea to have clothing and supplies together. Back to school sales are great especially if you can order online from home.  Make sure you put money aside if you have children in sports or if they need special tools to be successful in class like a  graphing calculator which can cost $100.
 Schedule haircuts.  Also do a trial primping time so that your student will be well aware of the amount of time they actually take to get ready.  Setting a timer makes them really conscious  of how long it takes.  Doing this will cut down on your morning stress, especially if you are the one driving the student to school.  The first weeks of school may be torturous for image conscious students.
It is also best for them to be fueled up for the day.  I am learning a lot about eating breakfast and how it is so good for your body. Please get some snacks either fruit or prepackaged snacks.  However, it is best to just get resealable sandwich bags and prepackage yourself with a larger bag of the snack your choosing.  I am personally a pretzel packager.  Even though I cannot eat them, they are my favorite choice for prepackaging.
If your child is interested in taking up a sport, get the proper forms and make an appointment for a check-up.  It is good to schedule preventive maintenance appointments as well.  Being healthy also includes mental health issues.  Please do not overlook your child’s emotional needs.  If your child takes medication, make sure that you know the school’s policy and that you keep good record.
Lastly, please have rules.  The retired person, at-home-parent and the small business person will know if your student is leaving school early or bringing others over after school.  Even though you may have had a lenient schedule, please have rules with your children.  Have a curfew, rules regarding dating and what is going to happen if the rules are broken.  I see too many disrespectful children.  Most of it is as a result of not being punished appropriately by the parent(s). There are some things that should be written and those who disobey the rules should be punished accordingly.
There are too many parents who do not give their children guidelines and not imposing punishments you are setting them up for failure in the workplace.
It takes a village.  We will be posting more tips on The New Citizens Press facebook page. 
Love people,
Rina Risper
P.S.  I am excited about our travel stories.  More to come.
This was printed in the August 23, 2015 - September 5, 2015 edition.

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