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Parents: Be Consistent Right from the Start! By Katherine Young

For the majority of parents I know, the month of August puts a smile on their faces. They are ready to send their kids off to school to learn more and to mainly get them out of their hair (this is just my opinion but we know I am telling the truth). While there is nothing wrong to be excited about the upcoming school year, may I challenge you as the parent or guardian to stick to something all school year? I want to encourage you to be consistent before the first day of school to the last day of school and hopefully, create new, positive habits that will set you and your child up for nothing but success.

Being consistent means having your student registered in advance so that they don’t have to miss out on one school day because you did not plan their appointments properly. Being consistent means you have gotten the necessary school supplies—not the ones that just look cute or cool—but supplies that are required and will help your student to positively participate, ready to learn. Practicing morning and evening routines now so that changes can be made and everyone can leave the house stress-free as well as knowing the after-school expectations, will help you in the long run to create smooth school days. It even helps to write out everything so that you have a visual and can make changes accordingly. My own family of four practiced and wrote down our schedule so that everyone could be ready using one bathroom, complete our daily routine, and leave the house early and stress-free. Believe me, it works! Consistency is about replacing old habits and embracing positive change so that your children can rehearse new habits for a great start that will hopefully stay with them on a day-to-day basis.

Set positive goals with your children to help them create a focus for success and willingly meet their teachers and other school staff to keep communication open, constructive, and consistent. With social media playing a big part in education nowadays, it’s so easy to stay in contact with your child and stay abreast of any concerns, working together to create solutions and not more problems. I also understand that LIFE hits us and things happen, but if you are staying on top of your child’s academics and behavior as well as their social life, there should be minimal interference to your child’s environment and they can still focus on being successful while adjusting to change. Case in point: my own family experienced tremendous grief last school year, but because we had a smooth routine and consistent, open communication with our children’s teachers and staff, we were able to communicate a plan of action to help them mourn and still finish the last semester of school successfully. There are great benefits to being a partner with your child’s teacher and the other staff. It’s truly a win-win solution.

Please know that these tips are not just for your primary students, but even high school students, college students, and even when your children are working. As parents, it is our duty to continue to help guide and model positive traits so that they may understand how to be consistent, mature, well-rounded citizens. As Ann Landers says: “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”