School-age handout

Photo by Unsplash Tong Nguyen van

SAFETY

  •         Talk to your child about “private parts” and teach her not to accept “bad touching.”
  •         Teach children to stop at the curb and look both ways before crossing the street.
  •         Start teaching them how to swim. Discuss water safety and ice safety (i.e. no walking on frozen ponds). Teach them never to swim without an adult present.
  •         Practice fire drills.  Check smoke and carbon monoxide monitors regularly.  Identify a safe meeting place outside.
  •         Seat belts for every ride.  Children should be in a booster seat until 4 foot 9 and at least 8 years old. Children should be in the back seat until age 13.
  •         Helmets should be worn every time for riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, skiing and snowboarding.
  •         Keep a child’s environment smoke-free. Second-hand smoke can increase the number of colds and the severity of asthma. Let us know if you want help quitting.
  •         If guns are in the house, they should be unloaded and locked up separately from ammunition. Consider trigger guards.
  •         Supervise online activities. We advise a max of 2 hrs a day of TV/electronics.

HEALTH

  •         Be a role model for a healthy lifestyle.
  •         Encourage regular exercise, and exercise with the kids.   Active kids become active adults.
  •         Help your child brush her teeth every day.
  •         Ensure adequate sleep.
  •         Teach your child to wash her hands after the bathroom and before eating.
  •         Some experts advise checking cholesterol at age 9-11. Discuss with your provider about this option especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol.

NUTRITION

  •         Make mealtimes pleasant and friendly. Turn the TV off during meals.  Offer healthy foods and eat them yourself to model good eating habits.
  •         Encourage breakfast as an important meal.
  •         Limit candy, chips, soda, juice, and sweets.
  •         Let your child help plan and prepare meals.

SCHOOL ADJUSTMENT

  •   Meet your child’s teachers; keep in touch.  Find out early when there is an issue before it becomes a big problem.
  •  Help your child to be organized.
  • Provide a study space.
  • Use a calendar to help your child remember important dates.
  • Help him organize clothes, homework the night before instead of in the morning.
  • Help your child relax after school.
  • Have some unstructured activities like playing with friends or sports after school.
  • Talk about school each day.
  • Continue to read with your child.
  • Help your child with homework.
  • Be available and encouraging.
  • Set a fixed time each day for homework.

SPOTLIGHT – POSITIVE PARENTING

It is important to encourage high self-esteem. This is shaped by messages from parents and other adults.

HELPFUL HINTS FOR A WELL-ADJUSTED CHILD...

Parents must be a good role model - Healthy parents produce healthy kids.  Feel good about yourself as a person and a parent.  Try to model confidence, curiosity, and creativity in your own life.

Praise the effort not just the outcome - Acknowledge good effort and improvements.  Congratulate her on a good save or catch in her game, not just when they win.  Be specific with praise. “You did a good job completing your homework today” rather than “you are a good girl”.

Value your child as they are - Realistic expectations lead to successes which lead to building high self-esteem.   If you have overly high expectations of your child, you may be setting him up for failure.  Even children who do well still need praise; don't take the successes for granted.

Acknowledge the fact that children are different - Do not compare your children with each other or other children.

Avoid negative comments - Never call your child stupid, lazy or a bad person.   Say “It was wrong to throw the glasses on the floor” not “ You are a bad child.”

Show confidence in your children’s abilities. Build on their strengths.

Encourage independence.

CHILDREN ARE SPONGES AND ABSORB WHAT THEY HEAR AROUND THEM.

HELP THEM BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE!

RESOURCES

  •         Food Assistance WIC 1-800-WIC-1007 and SNAP www.mass.gov/snap
  •         CDC Vaccine Page www.cdc.gov/vaccines
  •        www.healthychildren.org Site by pediatricians about a variety of health topics
  •         App: Pediatric Symptom MD – a variety of pediatric advice
  •         The Picky Eater Project. N. D. Muth
  •         Chop Chop: the kid’s guide to cooking real food with you. S Sampson. (Also a magazine)
  •        www.triplep-parenting.com Parenting and discipline modules for a minimal fee.
  •         Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233)

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