The children of Navarre will be returning to school Monday after what we hope was a great summer break. And with the return of the school year we have many reminders to pass along. We will begin with the most important one:
- Be present in your child’s schoolwork and activities and pay attention for any signs that something may be going wrong. Navarre has had its share of teen suicides. No parent thinks their child would ever do something like that and yet it happens. Teens are not fully developed emotionally, and whatever may be happening in their life could be too much to process and handle without really good coping skills. It may be a busy extracurricular schedule, pressure to maintain top grades, bullying or not getting along with a teacher. Whatever it is, take the time to listen and make a space where talking it out is safe and you can help them find the answer to the problem. If bullying is the issue, meet with school administrators and get it taken care of before it gets out of hand.
- Be careful with your words this school year, as children are great mimics of parents. If you don’t like how your child is behaving or speaking to others, check yourself. Is it a reflection of how you are talking to your child?
- Talk to your child about what bullying looks like. Teach them how to be respectful of others, have manners and be cognizant of other children’s feelings. Teach them proper responses to a bully or what to do if their friend is being bullied. If your child is a bully, seek help to put a stop to it.
- Consider black-out times for social media or electronics in general. Bullying continues from the classroom to social media and, therefore, there is no escape, no safe place, no avoiding it. It is in your child’s face as long as the electronics are on and in their hands. Setting a time when electronics cannot be used will allow them to get away from it. Black it out.
- Be observant of 20 mph school zones. They are there for a reason. It may not be a place where children are walking (like Highway 98), but there is increased traffic in the area which is a good reason to slow down.
- When a school bus is in service and stops, lights are activated, and the stop sign on the side of the bus is out – STOP. The only time you don’t have to stop is if you are on a divided highway going in the other direction. If you are behind the bus, STOP. If you are approaching the bus from the opposite direction with nothing separating you from the bus – STOP. Give the children getting off the bus time to get across the street or safely out of the way of traffic.
- Lastly, give it time. If your child comes home from school and “hates” his teacher, give it time. We teach our children nothing when we immediately come to their defense and save them from every situation. Monitor how things are going, give your child good advice on how to handle situations they don’t like, and realize that in life they are going to work with or spend time with people they do not like. They have to learn how to best deal with those people. The answer is not always to solve the problem for your child (bullying excluded). Also, your children must have respect for authority and when parents are of the mindset “you are not going to talk to my child that way,” please stop and check yourself. Children must learn boundaries, consequences and how to obey authority figures.
We hope all our students have a memorable and fun school year. We will be covering the activities, classrooms, sports and events at our Navarre schools and we can’t wait!
As seen in the Aug. 8 issue of Navarre Press.
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