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Topic Archives: Adjustments

Summer Learning: Five MUST-DOs

May 23, 2017

Who isn’t excited for the lazy days of summer?! Especially after what could have been a challenging school year. Time to put any social dramas, challenging subjects, or “not a good fit” teacher-student relationships behind us. September will be a fresh start. Keep in mind, though, it’s often the same kids who have trouble during school that have difficulty finding that right balance of fun and productivity during the unstructured days of summer. Here are a few suggestions that will keep the sanity and the fun. 1. Maintain Some Routine No kid needs the rigid school year structure, but a complete lack of summer schedule isn’t healthy either. Create a visible daily schedule and hang it up. Good things to include: wake-up time, bedtime, allowed… Read More

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It Takes A Village

September 27, 2016

Guest Blog by Jen Cort When kids are little, parents know they need trusted adults for events such as picking them up from school in case of emergency or hosting them on playdates. What we may not realize is that trusted adults are perhaps even more important in middle and high schools than in elementary school. Trusted adults are those adults you feel comfortable allowing your child to be in the care of and/or providing advice to your child in your absence. As your child grows, her/his needs also change. Therefore, it’s necessary to reevaluate the trusted adults in your child’s life on an ongoing basis. For example, social identifiers (such as race, gender and religion) may move into or out of… Read More

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Back-to-School Essential Reads

August 16, 2016

Re-engaging after a long summer vacation can be tough. So tough that students often need to spend the first month of school reviewing the last two months of the previous school year. Adults are no different. So, today we share with you the most important things that your summer brain might have missed or forgotten. These reads will get you ready to make this the best school year yet. A Parent’s Guide to the First Six Weeks  A primer for parents to ensure a good transition. How to Crush School  Review of new book for middle and high school students by teacher Oskar Cymermann. Teaches teens to develop study skills for school and life success. The Forgetting Curve Learning is a different skill from remembering,… Read More

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A Parent’s Guide for Back to School Success

August 2, 2016

Before School Starts One or two weeks before the start of school, have some one-on-one time with each child. Discuss the upcoming year. Do a lot more listening than speaking– you want to hear their concerns and allay them. For younger students, parents might need to set expectations for homework time and grades. For teens, it might be time to let your child set realistic expectations about their classes, grades, and extra-curriculars. Then agree on a schedule or routine to make it happen that includes sufficient sleep, full meals, and time for relaxation. Week 1: Focus on a good adjustment. For younger kids, do they have the seat that will enable them to focus? Are they comfortable speaking to their teacher? Do they… Read More

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When It’s a Can’t, Not a Won’t

December 17, 2015

In October I attended the Association of Educational Therapists conference and heard Dr. Tina Bryson’s keynote. She had plenty of great advice, best summed up this way: “When a kid’s not behaving, what if it’s a can’t, not a won’t?” How many of us have told a child that he’s simply not trying hard enough, or threatened punishments for a kid who doesn’t listen? No doubt, we parents and teachers are often justified in our exasperation. It is our responsibility to teach children to work hard and respect adults. We certainly are correct in assigning appropriate consequences when they choose not to listen. But when it’s a pattern of behavior, all the discipline rules change. Step back and think. Is your child often apathetic?… Read More

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Childhood Expert Eileen Kennedy-Moore Answers our Questions

September 21, 2015

We are supremely fortunate to share with you this week insight from a leading child psychologist who has great advice on on how we can better handle some sensitive parenting moments. Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, is an author, psychologist, and mother of four. She has a private practice in Princeton, NJ, where she works with adults, children, and families. In addition co-authoring Smart Parenting for Smart Kids and The Unwritten Rules of Friendship, she has a new video series for parents, produced by The Great Courses: Raising Emotionally and Socially Healthy Kids. Some of the topics she covers in her Great Courses lecture really interested me, including how to guide children through issues related to anxiety, perfectionism and popularity. I’m happy to share her answers with… Read More

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Your Labor Day Digest

September 4, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff We’re keeping this one simple. You’ve been through a lot. You got the last glue stick, the right calculator (or maybe the wrong one), the pencils, the graph paper, and the new backpack. You’ve convinced everyone that getting up before 7am is the new normal, and lunch is a meal, not the time by which to change out of PJ’s. Or, if you’re like me, they don’t start until Tuesday and you’re looking forward to 8:01 am. Either way, I hope this roundup of some helpful posts takes a little labor out of your Labor Day. I’m focusing on the transitions in the tween years: starting middle school, supporting the emotional life of preteens, a… Read More

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What if they are doing the best they can?

August 27, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff A few days ago, while listening to NPR in the car, I heard an interview with Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, and (unbeknownst to me) a “top ten” superstar in the realm of popular TED talks. She has a new book out, Rising Strong, The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution, which has as a central question: “What do…people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.” In her interview with John… Read More

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Pretending: When it’s ok to be someone you’re not

May 15, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Yesterday, my six-year-old announced that she and her good friend had swapped lunches for the week, pretending to be one another. “I had a salami sandwich and no pickles. And she had a bagel, cream cheese, yogurt and two pickles.” The pickles were a key part to this story. It’s evidence that each girl had embraced their alter ego’s preferences with full commitment. My daughter has had her regular order of a bagel with cream cheese, yogurt and two pickles for most of the last 100 plus days of school. Had I suggested she mix it up a bit, I’d have been met with a firm “no.” She really likes pickles. But when she pretended… Read More

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Give Parents a Break: What Would Andy Rooney Say?

April 3, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Spring Break. A lot of our readers are just beginning their week off from school, starting with this holiday weekend. Then, there are those, like my family, who had spring break in late March, and now have Friday off for Passover and Easter Weekend. The kids had a total of four days back in school. Of course, others have Friday and Monday off. And still others, such as our college babysitter, have neither Friday nor Monday off. It’s all very illogical, in an Andy Rooney-type way, with the most egregious spring break scheduling occurring in our local district last year when the unexpected snow resulted in the chipping away at vacation days until students had neither… Read More

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