Some parents can't wait for it, some parents just hate it.  But ready or not, school will be back in session very soon in Southwest Louisiana, and at the very least, you should be getting into the right frame of mind for a new year.  We dug through a lot of different websites to find good advice on how parents can get ready for the new school year, and we picked our top five recommendations.  We hope they help.

1. This year is a new year – leave last year behind.

If you had a rough year last year, remember that every new grade is a chance to start all over again.  New teachers, new schools or new routines can make a big difference, as long as you’re staying positive and showing your kids that you take school as seriously as you’re telling them to.

2. In the computer age, children aren’t learning to communicate in the ways you did.

One teacher brought up an interesting idea.  Children don’t handle conflicts the way you or I did growing up.  In a computer and TV age, they generally aren’t spending that outdoor time that kids used to.  That time was important for kids to learn how to deal with each other.  The more interaction kids have with other kids, the more independent they’ll be and the more they can learn to handle their own problems.  So when things get frustrating, you may need to remind yourself that some kids don't really know how to tell you what they're feeling, and that frustration spills over very easily.

3. Routines are hard to start, but then become hard to break.

Going to bed at the same time each night may be a terrifying new ritual after a summer of lax rules, but it’s very crucial.  Creating a ‘to-do’ checklist before going to bed might help with the nightmare of getting a child back on a schedule.  Now’s the time to start, by the way.

4. Take them to school before school starts.

Especially if they’re little, they’re going to be a little nervous on the first day.  If you take them to school ahead of time and let them see where they’ll be spending all that time, that will at least be one thing NOT to be nervous about.  Many schools will accommodate you or even have an orientation evening for kids to meet the teachers and see their classrooms.  Don’t miss this.  If they’re less nervous, you will be too.

5. Not all teachers are created equal, but they are all under the same pressure.

Your child will likely have a teacher that either they – or you – don’t get along with.  Do your best to understand that teachers, too.  Sometimes you’ll get stuck with a less-than-ideal teacher.  Just remember before you pass judgment that you’re dealing with your ONE child, while that teacher can have as many as 30 children to deal with.  And some of those 30 children have horrible, rude or ignorant parents that all take out their fury on that one teacher.  Instead of being angry with a ‘bad’ teacher, you might be amazed at the ‘good’ teachers who keep it together under the strain.