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Tip Of The Week

Communication tips for parents

Be available for your children
  • Notice times when your kids are most likely to talk--for example, at bedtime, before dinner, in the car--and be available.
  • Start the conversation; it lets your kids know you care about what's happening in their lives.
  • Find time each week for a one-on-one activity with each child, and avoid scheduling other activities during that time.
  • Learn about your children's interests--for example, favorite music and activities--and show interest in them.
  • Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversation with a question.
Let your kids know you're listening
  • When your children are talking about concerns, stop whatever you are doing and listen.
  • Express interest in what they are saying without being intrusive.
  • Listen to their point of view, even if it's difficult to hear.
  • Let them complete their point before you respond.
  • Repeat what you heard them say to ensure that you understand them correctly.
Respond in a way your children will hear
  • Soften strong reactions; kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive.
  • Express your opinion without putting down theirs; acknowledge that it's okay to disagree.
  • Resist arguing about who is right. Instead say, "I know you disagree with me, but this is what I think."
  • Focus on your child's feelings rather than your own during your conversation.
  • Ask your children what they may want or need from you in a conversation, such as advice, simply listening, help in dealing with feelings, or help solving a problem.
  • Kids learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow your lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems, and work through difficult feelings.
  • Talk to your children--don't lecture, criticize, threaten, or say hurtful things.
  • Kids learn from their own choices. As long as the consequences are not dangerous, don't feel you have to step in.
  • Realize your children may test you by telling you a small part of what is bothering them. Listen carefully to what they say, encourage them to talk, and they may share the rest of the story.
Parenting is hard work
  • Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between you and your children. But parenting is hard work and maintaining a good connection with teens can be challenging, especially since parents are dealing with many other pressures. If you are having problems over an extended period of time, you might want to consider consulting with a mental health professional to find out how they can help.
All Students:
  • Insist that your children eat breakfast every day, as it provides fuel for the brain to learn and helps them maintain a healthy weight.
  • Keep nutritious foods, like cut-up vegetables and fruit, cheese sticks, low-fat yogurt and butter-free popcorn on hand to make healthy snacking easy.
  • If your child has anaphylaxis, coordinate with the school principal on an updated emergency plan that best meets your child’s needs.
  • Schedule regular dental and any necessary medical checkups.
  • Encourage your children to choose milk or water at meals instead of sugary drinks, energy drinks with excessive caffeine or pop.
  • Get children active through sports, or go for nightly family walks or bike rides.
  • Develop good hand-washing habits as frequent hand-washing reduces the spread of bacterial, cold and flu viruses.
Primary Students:
  • Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your children’s snacks and lunches every day.
  • Include your child when packing lunches so they can learn to make healthy choices early on.
  • Help your children learn about and understand Canada’s Food Guide which encourages a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Take family walks with your children and, if possible, walk them to school.
  • Join or co-ordinate a Walking School Bus or Bicycle Train to help your children get to school safely with adult supervision:
  • Set up a regular teeth-brushing routine and ensure your children are brushing and flossing correctly.
  • Introduce your children to active games they can play on their own, like hopscotch or jumping rope. When more children are around, introduce tag, soccer or baseball.
Intermediate/Middle Students:
  • Whenever possible, encourage your children to walk, ride, rollerblade or skateboard to school instead of driving them.
  • Suggest that your children take the dog for a walk before and after school.
  • Limit your children’s screen time. Explain to your children that it's important to sit less and move more in order to stay at a healthy weight.
  • Continue to encourage healthy eating habits. Use Canada’s Food Guide to plan healthy meals and snacks, as they have different nutritional needs from children and adults.
  • Teach your children to avoid less-nutritious foods – foods high in sugar, fat and sodium, and help them learn to replace these foods with more nutritious snacks instead.
Secondary Students:
  • Encourage your teenagers to get involved in intramural or after-school sports.
  • Suggest your teenagers take a class at the local community centre or encourage them to participate in a walking or hiking group.
  • Place your older children in charge of some of the family’s meals and grocery shopping so they learn how to buy, prepare and enjoy healthy meals using Canada’s Food Guide.
  • Encourage your teens to get plenty of rest to ensure they are alert and ready to learn at school.

10 Simple Tips For Better Grades Guaranteed.
Every parent knows that success in school is important for success in adult life. Parents want to help ensure that success, but what, exactly, can they do to help? Here are ten steps to helping your child succeed in school this year.
Tip # 1. Develop a schedule.
Many families today are incredibly busy. In the rush to meet all the demands upon each family member from school, work, sports, arts and socializing - school sometimes gets crowded to the rear. One way to prevent that from happening is to develop a firm but flexible schedule - allowing sufficient time to meet each of the essentials.
Tip # 2. Don't Overextend.
Many times, when a family begins creating a schedule, it becomes clear that there are simply too many activities to fit. School success may require being a little less involved in extra-curricular activities. It may also mean that parents find they have to cut a few of the extras out of their lives, too.
Tip # 3. Get plenty of rest.
Many students simply do not get enough sleep. Eight hours is actually the minimum number of hours a child should sleep each night. It is best to get more sleep. And don't count on weekends to "catch up" on missed sleep. It simply doesn't work that way. Adequate sleep is needed for each day to ensure optimal school performance.
Tip # 4. Eat right.
Poor nutrition and skipped meals lead to the same feelings of exhaustion and weakness that come from lack of sleep. Schedule in meals that include a good breakfast and minimal fast food. Make sure there are plenty of healthful snacks available for after school - like fruit, raw veggies, cheese and pop corn. And watch that soda consumption, too much sugar can make you feel sluggish.
Tip # 5. Make homework a priority.
Skipped homework can shipwreck an otherwise excellent grade average. Be certain to allot sufficient time for homework to be completed in a distraction-free atmosphere. Preferably the time should be after the student has had a chance to unwind from school yet still early enough to feel fresh and alert.
Tip # 6. Lavish praise.
Especially when your child is struggling in a particular subject. Be certain he knows that many people struggle in that subject; it does not mean he is stupid. Praise each success as he progresses"¦no matter how small. Offer help, or even tutoring if needed, but don't force help if your child prefers to work independently. Sometimes the goals that are met after a tough fight are the most enjoyable.
Tip # 7. Keep communication open.
Take time every day to listen to your child. Be certain every conversation is not dominated by you. Let your child tell his experiences at school, with his teacher and with other students, then if problems arise, you have a better understanding of the circumstances that may have led up to them.
Tip # 8. Keep expectations realistic.
It is good to expect your child to do well in school - to be polite and to complete assignments neatly and on time - but do not expect every assignment to net an A. Keep goals reachable to avoid frustration and poor self-image.
Tip # 9. Be Honest.
Many children naturally want to do as well as their parents - or better! So, when you reminisce about your own school days, be certain to tell your kids about your failures as well as your successes.
Tip # 10. Go To Every Class
This technique is often overlooked. Some students might have trouble waking-up in the morning. Others may skip class to go shopping. For most students skipping an hour of class will require several hours of catching-up.

Tip From Student to Student: Effective Studying

"Before you start studying, eat, drink, and clear your mind from everything in this world that is not connected to your studying. Focus on your future goal, sit in a well lighted room ALONE, and always take a break after every 30 minutes of studying. Within the break, drink water, and if necessary take a 15 minute nap to clear your mind. Do not do any physical activities because all your blood will be concentrated on giving oxygen to your muscles instead of your brain. Always read the text as if it is talking to you."
Andar (Grade 9)
Fact: Students who Exercise Get Better Grades

There's increasing evidence that exercise makes us all smarter, whether we're 8 or 80. One new study to show your school board comes from Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta. Published in Health Psychology in January, it found that when overweight sedentary kids begin to exercise regularly, their ability to think and plan improves. They even make gains in math and reading.
The Georgia team randomly assigned 171 overweight 7-to 11-year-olds to either 20 minutes or 40 minutes of vigorous daily exercise after school or to no exercise. The activities included running games, hula-hoops and jump ropes to raise heart rates.
Using standardized tests, researchers found that the more the kids exercised, the more their scores went up. Children who exercised 40 minutes a day for three months had an average increase of 3.8 points on scores in cognitive planning skills. Kids who exercised 20 minutes a day experienced smaller gains.


Good Influence

Kids who have positive friendships in middle school get better grades than those with poorly behaved friends. Having pro-social friends and avoiding deviant peers was linked to higher grades than simply being friends with high achievers. A study from the University of Oregon suggests that parents and teachers should pay attention to friendships at these ages, and the changes taking place. Communication with children is important in finding out with whom they are spending time, and it may be helpful to encourage involvement in adult-supervised activities that can lead to pro-social relationships. The research was published in the Journal of Early Adolescence.

Goal Setting

If you had no financial limitations, what are some of the things you would like to accomplish or experience either at school or in life? If you had a Genie that could grant you any wish, what would it/they be?

1) Take 5 mins to brainstorm ALL the possibilities: What grades would you like in school this year? Maybe your dream is winning an award, degree or mastering something? Maybe you're dreaming of the trip of a lifetime? Close your eyes. Make it real and visualize it. Write it/them down now.
2) Now, give each of your goals a timelime (6 months, 12 months, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years) to reach them.
3) Highlight, circle or underline your top one-year goal.
4) Within 2 minutes write a paragraph (or in point form) why you are absolutely committed to achieving this goal within the next year.