In an era where distractions and societal pressures constantly beckon young minds, one challenge stands out starkly: substance abuse in schools. For many educators, confronting this challenge is more than just fulfilling a mandate. It's about preserving the sanctity of educational spaces and ensuring a bright future for every child.
Informed Families Catalyst
As society continues to evolve, so do the complexities and challenges facing our younger generations. More than ever, there's an urgent need to equip our children with the right knowledge, skills, and attitudes to help them navigate the world safely and responsibly. This need underscores the critical importance of starting prevention education at a young age - particularly, at the elementary school level.
President's Message - August 2023
The phrase "Back to School" tends to stir a whirlwind of emotions in all of us. What are the first
words that spring to mind for you? And what about your child?
As kids transition back to school, they’ll need to brush up on their organizational skills. This is one of the topics in this month’s Family Table Time activity kit, which provides materials, tips, and conversation starters designed to foster family togetherness and participation.
Our kids have been through so much in the past 18 months; first being yanked from school, their teachers, and their classmates, then sheltered at home, worrying about a pandemic they didn’t understand, and now sent back to school with the coronavirus still raging.
Topics: back to school
It’s back-to-school time, and this year our kids are facing more than the usual first-day jitters. Last year they mostly had to learn at home, seeing friends only over Zoom or FaceTime. Now, the new school year is likely bringing new anxieties:
- They’re wondering whether they’ve fallen behind academically, in their favorite sport, or both.
- They’ve been worried about whether they or their parents will get COVID-19.
- The mask-up-in-school guidance has been confusing, to say the least.
- And they may be secretly afraid that they won’t know how to get along in person with their friends anymore.
Give them structure
Don’t assume that because things are getting back to normal that your kids will easily fall back into their old pre-pandemic lives without your guidance.
One way to help your child adjust to the new school year is by offering the comfort of family meals on a regular schedule. Use this time to talk together, to encourage them to share their concerns, and find solutions.
Our Family Table Time kits are an excellent resource that can help. For example, this month’s topics include organizational skills, back to school, fears and anxiety, and bullies and violence.
Sign up now to receive your first kit an
It’s never easy to be a parent, but it can be especially difficult in times of uncertainty. Certainly, the pandemic qualifies! We all thought surely we’d be past it by now!
Topics: back to school
Back to School During the Covid-19 Pandemic
“It is the best of times, it is the worst of times” is surely a fitting description for today. During times of uncertainty, basic routines help us and our children feel more secure; thus, happier and healthier.
If your children are attending classes are remotely or at school some of the basics still apply:
- Have a healthy breakfast
- Get dressed for school
- Have a specific place for children to do their online work or their homework
- Ask about their assignments and review their work and homework
- When going to school, wear a mask
Telling your children you love them and that things will be okay are two messages you need to repeat often. Sometimes this is hard! If you are fearful about now and the future, practice Mindfulness with your children. It will help everyone. Mindfulness keeps our minds from running away to negative thoughts and worse case scenarios. Even three deep breaths will slow the freight train in the brain.
Back to School Transitions Can Lead to Problems
Summer vacation is coming to an end, and your children will be returning to school soon. Some are preparing to transition into middle or high school; while others are heading off to college. These transitions will introduce new environments, new friends and new found freedoms. Research shows that dealing with transitions is often a time when kids get into trouble. If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to have another talk with your kids about your family rules and boundaries regarding underage drinking and substance abuse.
You want to encourage your children’s growing independence, but set appropriate limits. Set clear rules, and then enforce the rules you set. Make sure your children understand what the consequences will be for breaking rules. But equally important, don’t forget to acknowledge the moments when your kids choose healthy behaviors over underage drinking or experimenting with drugs.
According to a recent report, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Drug-Free Communities (DFC) programs continue to yield consistently reduced youth substances use rates. There has been a decline in prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use among youth. So we know prevention programs and initiatives, like the ones Informed Families offer, work. We all must continue to play a role in creating communities that care about helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.
DOES BACK TO SCHOOL MAKE YOU FRANTIC?
It’s back to school time. Parents are out there frantically getting their children new clothes, new school supplies, new backpacks, etc.
Why not start with some new habits that will last a life time?! Here are three starters for healthier families:
1. Regular family dinner.
Family Day (September 24) is just around the corner. It’s the day we celebrate family dinners as a way to keep children safe, healthy and drug free. Children who eat dinner with their family five or more times a week are more likely to make healthy decisions around drugs and alcohol.
Thanks to feedback from Ambassador Tracy Bowen of Collier County, we’ll be offering tips for families throughout the month of September to make the most of mealtime and keep the conversation going strong.