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Aug 25, 2016

Healthy Living’s Smart Start for Back to School

Summer vacation is officially coming to an end. By the first week of September, all children across the country will be back in school. At this point, all the schools books, back packs and stationary have been purchased and maybe even packed for the first day of school. If you are a parent hoping for a smooth transition back into school then the following health segment is for you. Mental Health Therapist, Jennifer Lovell, will share some simple tips on how to get the children back into school with a smart start.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

The first day of school is filled with many different emotions for children—and parents alike. Some kids are eager for the first day while many others may have to be dragged out of bed and delivered teary eyed to the classroom. According to Mental Health Therapist Jennifer Lovell, all these emotions should be expected.


Jennifer Lovell

Jennifer Lovell, Mental Health Therapist
“It’s a transition. That’s why they have all this anxiety about new classroom, new teacher, sometimes new students because they change them into new classes. So you know what? I’d be anxious too. Actually its starts before the first day, probably about Thursday they’re going to start having nightmare, they can’t sleep, they’ll be crying they’ll have pain-ah-belly.”


Marleni Cuellar

“Is that normal?”


Jennifer Lovell

“It’s the nerves. As adults we get nervous. Can you imagine the little kid going into a new school or a new class, imagine how nervous they get?”

So are there steps you can take to prepare the kids – and yourself – for back to school? Lovell says yes, but you have to start as soon as possible.


Jennifer Lovell

“You want to start to prepare them from throughout the summer by doing fun things with learning so that they didn’t forget anything from the previous semester. You’re talking to your kids and preparing them that they will be going back to school, that you will have new classmates depending on the class you are going in. You gonna meet a new teacher. You’ve got to ease the tensions and anxiety by making it sound so wonderful. Start now, if you haven’t yet, this week is really your week to prepare this child for meeting a new teacher and potentially new classmates. Bedtime routine; because I know a lot of kids say they are going to be at one o’clock. Starting now, have the child go back into bed early so that they get used to it at a regular time. No child who is in primary school should be going to bed after eight-thirty none. In the morning, you want them up early so they have breakfast; they are relaxed before they get to school. They have a good breakfast, get showered walk to school. One of the things I did with my son was I gave him a picture of  me, so if he got nervous he could look at it and know that mom was there with me.”


The school off-season is also a great time to communicate to your children the behaviors that will be expected of them in the school year.

Jennifer Lovell

“One of the things we’ve been seeing quite a bit of is when the child gets upset, they get up and run out of class – and run to the bathroom or just run out of class. Parents at home have to talk to the kids about the importance of taking responsibility. If you are nervous, go talk to teacher. If somebody is teasing you, the child may be getting bullied, tell the child to talk to teacher, talk to me – very important.”


For those parents with children transitioning to high school, Lovell says it’s time for a frank conversation.


Jennifer Lovell

“Parents talk to your high schoolers right now! This is a new ballgame we are getting into. In primary school teachers are forgiving and overlook a lot of things. In high school, they are teenagers so they will have cliques. Be careful what cliques you get into because people have the saying birds of a feather, flock together and so if you get with the wrong clique, you could get a name that you are not looking for. High school children are more responsibility. We need to start treating them not like little adults, but we need to start teaching them the gentle art of negotiation.”


Lastly, teach them to be responsible. Start with giving them chores.


Jennifer Lovell

“As a parent you need to ensure that your child is doing chores. I know a lot of people say I noh want…your child need to do chores; we are teaching responsibility.  Kalil Gebran said our children are not our children; we don’t own them. We are supposed to do our best to make sure that they become great citizens, great adults at eighteen. They need to come up as good adults in this country.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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