5 Issues to Discuss with Tweens and Teens before They Go Back to School

Back-to-school time always comes with a mixture of emotions for kids. They’re excited to see friends again, but may have trepidation about fitting in with new social groups. As a result, they may experiment with new behaviors in order to be accepted or simply not “stick out.”

High school is a microcosm of our society. Within those walls are future gangbangers, drug dealers, murderers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The groups your children choose to associate with can have a significant impact on which path their future will take. Read more

Watch Out for Lice when Heading Back to School!

The start of the school year is supposed to be exciting, but as a parent, you know the threat of head lice is always present. You want to make sure you rid your child’s head of these pesky pests quickly and effectively, with as little mess as possible. Many think that the only way to do this is by forking over big bucks for professional removal, or slathering their kids’ heads with harmful chemicals and pesticide-laden products. Luckily for parents, there are many ways to take care of head lice that are safer, simpler and more affordable. Read more

Back to School Means Back to Good Nutrition Basics

As parents prepare for yet another “back to school” season, they will scurry to malls in search of new clothes for their ever-growing child along with a litany of school supplies too numerous to name. But, let’s not forget healthy school lunches and after-school snacks as we plan ahead for the upcoming school year.

Here are a few great ideas to assure a happy school day is also a healthy school day:

  • Lean meat, such as shaved ham or turkey, on whole grain bread or in a wheat wrap with some lettuce, low/fat free cheese, and a touch of low-fat/fat-free mayonnaise or mustard is sure to please…and nourish.
  • Even the quintessential children’s sandwich, PB&J, can be made in a healthy way these days. Many peanut butter brands now offer low-fat and low-sodium versions. That, coupled with an all-fruit, sugar-free jelly on whole grain bread makes this school cafeteria staple a guiltless pleasure.

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College Cool

Ways to prepare for your life on campus

(Family Features) For the entering college freshman, the days leading up to the start of the academic year can be filled with great anticipation and anxiety. But there are ways to begin this new journey on the right foot with a little preparation ahead of time.

Below are a few major aspects of college life, along with some ideas to help you succeed in each one.

Tips for Achieving Academic Success

Open your mind with these tips for achieving academic success during college:

Don’t stress about your major
While many students are pressured into choosing their field of study before enrollment or very early in their college career, most college graduates will admit it took some time to figure it all out. Unless you are 100 percent certain of your career path, go a safer route by signing up for courses in several subjects that interest you. This will allow you to sample different disciplines and develop passions you may not have been introduced to during your previous studies. Read more

Oh, No!…Another total, nuclear, ballistic screaming fit.

Here’s a Battle Plan
You’re in your least favorite aisle of the grocery store: Aisle 5. That’s the candy aisle. Your four-year-old daughter is screaming at you full blast because she’s very upset that you will not allow her to have the candy bar she had sweetly pointed out. She’s stuck in the cart, but you’re sure she can be heard throughout the store. It feels like a crowd is slowly gathering to see how you’re going to handle the situation.

Of all the behavioral problems parents face from their children, temper tantrums are probably the most upsetting as well as the hardest to manage-especially in public. Major meltdowns may also be the most potent tool kids have when it comes to training their parents to do what the children want. Moms and dads who fear tantrums have an extremely difficult time maintaining control of their own children-at home and away. Read more


“Birds of a feather flock together.” “Who you hang out with is who you will become.” These two quotes might be ancient, but they are still relevant today. How can parents help their children choose good friends? First of all we have to examine what we at Project SOS call “TRUE FRIENDS”. Here is a list of characteristics of TRUE FRIENDS:

  1. Someone who is moving in a POSITIVE direction in life.
  2. Someone who you feel comfortable telling your goals and dreams to.
  3. Someone you have known for a long time.
  4. Someone who will be honest with you.
  5. Someone of the same gender as you.
  6. Someone you talk to daily or weekly.
  7. Someone who will encourage you AND correct you when you need it.
  8. Someone who has similar values and standards as you.
  9. Someone you can trust.
  10. Someone who wants the BEST for you.

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5 Tips for Mom’s Back-to-School Sanity

Heal self-defeating thoughts: “I stunk at math and my kids will stink too!” This was my greatest self-sabotaging thought as a Mom, and I had to heal! As Moms we allow toxic negative thoughts to run through our minds every single day. It’s time to stop it this school year! Moms can be defeated in their parenting before they get out of bed in the morning. Thoughts can’t be removed—they have to be replaced. So here is what every Mom needs to try: Face the fear. Just because you aren’t good at math, for example, doesn’t mean that’s going to be your child’s truth. It’s hard, but arrest those thoughts as soon as they enter into your mind (handcuff it literally). Then replace the negative “Jimmy isn’t going to “get” math thought with “Jimmy is smart, resourceful and able to do it!” (Plus Mom, you can hire a tutor or grab a homework coach to support him). Repeat these “healing” thoughts and strategies every time those old self-defeating ones come up. Read more

7 Techniques for Conquering Back-to-School Fear

Fear is natural when we’re about to go back to school or off to college, because we’re dipping into the unknown. The newness makes us feel as if our very survival is threatened. Whether we’re nervous about the rigorous academics, living away from home for the first time, or the pressure of new social groups, it’s helpful to remember that fear is a completely natural reaction for students. Everyone else has the same feeling, regardless of what he or she seems to be presenting to the world. Read more

4 Tips to Uphold Children’s Writing Skills in a Digital World

The advent of the digital age has undoubtedly made human life and interactions faster and easier, but as with all paradigm shifts, it has come at a cost. By making interactions and communication fast and easy, grammatical skills have fallen by the wayside. Capitalization, punctuation, and proper spacing, all have become victims of the quick abbreviated and transactional way of writing that text messaging, instant messaging, and e-mailing have brought us. Here are some quick tips for parents to help children learn to write first before succumbing to this literacy downfall.

1. Hold off!

Parents should wait as long as possible before getting their children mobile technology. This will, at the very least, force children to learn how to write for school before they start using phones to text and “IM” their friends. Read more

Getting Schooled on a Successful Bus Ride

Tips for a Safe and Stress-Free Ride to School
As we near the start of another school year, parents across the country are preparing their children for new teachers and new classrooms, but it is important not to forget to think about how they will get there. Nationwide, approximately 24 million students ride the bus each day to and from school – nearly 3 million of them on First Student buses.

Parents, especially those putting their child on the bus for the first time, tend to worry about sending their little one off to school. But, rest assured, school buses are the safest form of ground transportation. Their large size and bright yellow color make them easily visible to other drivers – and their height raises riders above car impact level. Buses come equipped with safety technology, all meant to keep passengers safe. Flashing lights, a stop sign arm, cross view mirrors and a crossing arm in front are among the more basic equipment. Read more