Child smiling while outdoors.

Back to School Season

by Sheila Robison, Economic Security Team Member

Grandparent and granddaughter with laptop computerIn this “day and age,” many grandparents are raising their grandchildren, for a number of reasons. Through past experience, grandparents do quite well for the most part, for some things never go out of style.  However, some things do. Day-to-day life can be very demanding on an older parent who has total care of his or her grandchildren. It’s a constant full time job to keep up with young children, especially during the school year. The continuous need of keeping clothes bought, washed and ready to wear, the grocery shopping that never ends, and the energy needed to maintain a healthy child is a huge job. So, first and foremost, Kudos to all of you grandparents out there who may be reading this and are taking an active role in raising grandchildren!

Our education system today asks for more parental involvement than ever before.  Gone are the days of simply marking your calendar in order to set the clock for the first day of school. Gone are the days of purchasing some “fun” school supplies for your child to show your love and join in their excitement as they enter a new school year.  School systems today send out a check list of materials needed and this becomes the responsibility of the parent or guardian. This is a mandatory request that needs to be met to ensure a successful school year for your child.

Here are some helpful hints to get the fantastic care-giving grandparents on the right track and keep down the stress!

First off, start a full week ahead in getting a bed time set. This not only ensures a good night’s sleep but will condition your child to a schedule.

Second, be prepared for healthy nutritious breakfasts and after school snacks. Get plenty of fruits and veggies in the house!

Third, grab that list from the school and make it a fun outing to shop with your child for the school supplies! You may even need to purchase an item for the classroom, so be a good sport and do it with a smile. Excitement and motivation is the key here!

Last, but not least, it’s important to set aside a time of day and a space in the house where your grandchild can quietly study. There are many interruptions in the busy life of a schoolkid. Dedicate a peaceful spot for them to get their work done successfully. You will be building rituals for them to gain control and stay focused and organized.

For more helpful hints check out “20 Great Ways to Raise Great Kids” by author Toni Schutla.

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