On the final night of summer, parents countrywide prepared for the annual ritual of going back to school. They busily organized backpacks with new supplies, painstakingly prepared lunch boxes with the latest healthy (or not so healthy) fare, selectively laid out outfits or uniforms to help their kids look presentable, and perhaps snuck in a handwritten note in their notebooks wishing their kids a great first day!
Mission accomplished, they tucked their children into bed and let out one last remark reiterating their excitement about new teachers and inspired curriculum's, meeting new friends and maintaining old relationships. They reminded them to remember the six pillars of character and be mindful of the golden rule. With the parenting checklist for back-to-school preparation completed, they breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Not so fast parents! There is still work to be done. It is virtually impossible to steer your kids in the right direction - trust me, they will never listen - without taking a good close look at yourselves and your own back-to-school behavior. As you slowly integrate into schedules and school lunches this week, take a moment to review our list of dos and don’ts. Remember, your children emulate you and will do as you do and not as you say. Better to set them on the right course by setting a good example. You certainly don’t want anyone pointing a finger at them and saying the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
- Greet fellow parents each day with a smile.
- Integrate new parents by including them in school activities and special events.
- Use the magic words unconditionally and often with teachers, administration and staff.
- Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and establish a relationship.
- Make your best effort to donate monies for class funds, field trips & other activities in a timely manner.
- Offer to help parents and children who are in need.
- Keep negative comments about the school or other parents or their children to yourself.
- Communicate with your child and let them solve their own problems with their peers if possible.
- Keep tabs on your own child and make sure they are not bullying others.
- Regulate your child with a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast each morning.
- Use designated crosswalks when crossing the street near school perimeters.
- Judge parents by how much or how little they are able to volunteer at school.
- Attempt to gain favor with your child’s teacher by showering them with accolades or gifts.
- Send mass emails to your child’s class list unless it’s regarding school work or administration.
- Hit “reply all” unless the person who initiated the email has expressly requested it.
- Gossip or spread harmful rumors about the school, the parents, or the children.
- Jump to conclusions about anything school-related. Give others the benefit of the doubt, gather your facts and then respond accordingly.
- Jay-Walk unsafely with your children in tow.
- Honk, double-park or block other drivers. We are all just trying to find a space and get our children to school. Have some patience and take a breath!
I'm sure there are many parents out there who wish other parents had better manners at school. What are some of your biggest gripes? Which do's and don'ts would you add to this list? Please share with us, we'd love to hear from you!!
For more info, read our blogs on Back 2 School Manners for Kids http://90210manners.blogspot.com/2011/08/back-2-school-manners.html and college-aged students http://90210manners.blogspot.com/2011/08/back-2-school-manners-college-years.html.