Say No to Bullies

Tis' the season of back to school shopping, open houses and new class schedules. This time of year many teens can be anxiously awaiting the new school year. For many teens this is a positive nervous, excited feeling of the first day of school. But for some it can be very stressful, nerve wrecking and even depressing. 

The topic of bullies is one that never grows old. Bullies can be found in all schools, all grades and in all cities. The population of teens that are in middle school who are bullied is ever growing. Many parents and teens are afraid, worried and simply do not know what to do. Teach your kids how to say no. 

For starters, bullies are weak. They are insecure, lonely, angry and fearful. They pick on kids and teens who are quiet, shy and mostly introverted. Bullies want to feel powerful and they believe they will gain this by controlling the emotions of another. But they could not be more wrong. 

Kids and teens who are bullied are actually strong, have their own mindset and independence. They have to be reminded that they are powerful and can stand up for what they believe in. Standing up as a teen is not always easy, but is possible. Empowering a teen who has been bullied is a step in the right direction. 

As parents, please take the time this school year to talk to your children about bullies. Your child or teen may not have the courage to approach the topic, but it is of upmost importance. Bullying is a serious offense and thus it should be treated as such. Talk to your kids about standing up for what they believe in and about saying no in difficult situations. The more they practice and role play the easier it will be, if they are confronted by a bully. 

Parents have no fear, August is here!

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As the days of the new school year are slowly approaching, the summer calm is winding down. Parents are excited for their children to leave the house and be back at school. As much as I hear parents cheering, their children are not. Now if we could all just be on the same page? 

Here are some great ways for everyone to slowly transition back to school while still being in the "summer" mindset!

1. Set an adjusted bed time: Simulating a "school night" bed time prior to the start of school, will help your family begin to feel as if back to school is almost here. This is a tool to ease your kids in transitioning to an ideal bed time!

2. Schedule a time for homework: Many kids have to read books or complete projects during summer break. Right now would be a great time to make sure these assignments are completed and will be turned in on time. Sit with your kids, ask them to schedule a couple of hours a day for school work during their last summer weeks. If no homework needs to be completed, assign them homework assignments (you can find simulated school worksheets online). 

3. Plan back to school snacks: This can help ease children back to their school routine and increase their excitement for the new school year. Talk about healthy and tasty snacks that they may enjoy eating their first week back at school. This will give them something to look forward to! 

4. Go back to school shopping: For many children this is the best part of back to school. The new sneakers, shirts, notebooks and markers. Plan a budget together and go shopping together! Encourage your child to pick out an agenda book and notebooks, that they can use to start the year in an organized fashion. 

5. Explore the school: This is a must if your child will be attending a new school! It will help calm their nerves on the first day of class. Go tour the school together and find where their class is, the nearest bathrooms, office and lunch room. 

6. Talk about making and keeping friends: Discussing with your child how to meet new friends and maintain old friends is a social skill that they can always have handy. Practice meeting new kids through role-plays, to help calm their anxiety. Some children are more excited about meeting new friends and will use this as motivation for wanting to go back to school. 

Make these last weeks a back to school practice, by reminding your child of all the positive activities that await this new school year!

Back to School Tools

Yes, it is that time of year again! Moms and dads everywhere are cheering with joy. Back to school is here! In honor of this season I have found some great apps for parents and kids to stay organized and focused this school year.

This app is compared to having a personal assistant. It organizes anything you may need and you can take your items anywhere. Examples include: recipes, photos, notes, plan a party and manage home or work tasks. Visit: https://springpad.com/about

For the teen who needs structure and organization. This app assists teens in organizing class schedules, exam dates, homework, and level of difficulty of each assignment. Great tool for teens who need some task management in their lives. Visit: http://www.heapnote.com/students.html#.Uh5fOhvNk8f

Is your child artistic, do you have no room left on your refrigerator to display your child's art work? This app was made for you! Just upload your child's art work and create an art book to display all of the works of art in an organized fashion. Visit: http://www.artkiveapp.com/

Make learning fun for kids or teens! Two great apps with the purpose of teaching. Learn with Homer is interactive, fun and great for kids learning to read. Visit: http://learnwithhomer.com/
For the teen in your life, Vocabador is an interactive wrestling vocabulary game. It boasts that it helps prepare test takers for exams such as the SAT and GRE. Visit: http://www.vocabador.com/

I hope these apps make your transition to the school season a little more enjoyable!