Diane Lang on Starting Off the School Year!

As much as I don’t look forward to summer’s unofficial end, it is what it is. (At least it’s US Open Tennis time–no Rafa this year but I’m sure the tournament will be exciting just the same and I’ll be every bit as addicted to it as usual! :D)

So back-to-school takes on so many connotations, but it usually means more for parents (and kids) to do in the morning. From her outbox to my inbox (and shared with the author’s permission), here are some ideas from positive living expert Diane Lang for the day-to-day of the upcoming school year, applicable to moms, dads and anyone in the get-the-kids-off-to-school role. 

     

It’s back to school time again and as a working mom, it’s always a struggle to get myself and my kids ready for school. Here are some tips to start the school year off right – once you have momentum it makes the school year routine easy!

1.  Start the day off right with a healthy breakfast : The morning time is very busy in most     households. Trying to get the kids ready at the same time you need to get ready for work can seem almost impossible on some mornings. But if you can get through one thing in the morning it should be a healthy breakfast for both you and your family.

Breakfast is so important: It helps the kids focus and concentrate. Here are some easy, quick breakfast suggestions:

–  Cereal and fruit – My daughter loves cheerios with blueberries and strawberries on top.

–  Multi-Grain or whole wheat toast with peanut butter or

–  Apple and/or Banana with peanut butter – the peanut butter will help them remain full for the
morning.

–  Make a fruit salad on Sunday evening and in the morning give a bowl of fruit salad with a yogurt
on the side. Some kids love taking the yogurt and mixing the fruit in.

–  The non-traditional breakfast – any leftovers in your fridge? Have any leftover with a glass of fruit
juice. It’s not the norm but we do know that any breakfast is better then NO breakfast!! (I’m liking this one–makes for great lunches too.) 

2.  Contact – Stay in contact with your teacher. The quick, easy way is through e-mail. Most teachers  check e-mail every day and respond quickly. I have my daughter’s teacher’s e-mail in my address book and the school website as one of my favorites. The school website always posts all the news, events and weather issues. It’s a good way to stay involved and  connected. Involved parents mean a successful child.

3.  Sleep – A week or so before school starts, get your kids back on schedule. If kids don’t get enough sleep their academic careers will suffer. Mom’s we need sleep too – we should all try for 8-10 hours. The norm for most adults is 5-6 hours, that is not good enough and we will pay the price by being fatigued, irritable and eating unhealthy. So, moms, get back on routine with your children by going to sleep early. Try to go to sleep around the same time every night and waking up around the same time every morning to keep your body on a good sleep schedule. Make sleep  and a nutritious breakfast “A Must” for the whole family. If you keep a healthy lifestyle as a mom you will be a great role model for your kids!

4.  Physical Activity – This is so necessary for children. They need to burn fuel during the day to help keep them healthy. Obesity has become a HUGE problem for teens. Kids do not get enough physical activity at school; as moms, we must do more. As adults we tend to live a sedentary life especially if we have a job where we sit all day. So, set up family activities that involve exercise. In the warm weather – biking, swimming , hiking, walking, etc.

– As the months get colder try apple and pumpkin picking.

– Join your local gym, College or YMCA for the inside pool. Sign up your children for an after school activity or sport. It’s a good way for the kids to socialize, have fun, meet new friends and get healthy!

5.  Set up a Homework schedule. Make it the same time everyday. My daughter does her homework for 30-45 minutes a day right before dinner at the kitchen table. I cook while she does her homework. If she has any questions, I’m right there to help her and keep an eye on her.

6.  Good Habits – I have made reading a nightly habit. About 15-20 minutes before bed – we read together. It’s a good way to relax before bed, spend quality time and keep up with her reading skills. I’m starting the reading habit early (Pre-school) so when she is older she will continue to read before bed. Reading is a great end to the day – it helps with creativity, imagination, language skills, problem solving, memory, focus, and attention. If you start young, you will start a bedtime ritual that could go on for many years to come.

For more information visit Diane’s website: www.dlcounseling.com

Counseling Educator
www.dlcounseling.com

So there you have it, friends! A wonderful compilation of ideas to make the start of the school year a little less stressful and keep it so as it progresses! Check in Friday for a simple, wholesome breakfast recipe that’s right along those healthy lines Diane talked about. And please, if you’d kindly take a moment to SHARE I’d so appreciate it.

Thanks and have a great day,

Joanna

Balance and Back to School

Happy first day after the unofficial end of summer, friends. I’ll be ‘professionally developing’ as some of you read this today. My summer is officially over. (Not complaining. Just grateful.)

      

Here’s an article my good friend Diane Lang dropped in my inbox yesterday. Definitely worth sharing. She’s also listed quite a few live workshops: one in NYC and the rest in NJ–check them out if you’re in the area. Many are free! 

So Diane says:

When September rolls around, we start thinking of Back-to-School for our kids and dealing with work-life balance. This is a time of excitement along with new challenges and opportunities. I know I’m already feeling the stress of work-life balance. My biggest question is: will I make it home to get my daughter off the bus without sacrificing my time at work? You might have the same question or something similar that deals with the struggles of work-life balance. So, for this month I thought it was important to give some tips on work-life balance.  Please feel free to e-mail me back with your tips to share with everyone.

  1. We feel the pressure from both work and home but if you don’t like your job, you will feel it more often. If you have a career instead of a job, you will feel happier going to your office. You will have “Flow” at work. Time will pass quicker and you will enjoy your day if you’re doing what you love. Most of us spend at least 60 hours a week working (this includes e-mails, calls and texts even after work) add your commute and you realize how much time you really spend at work. If you’re doing something you don’t enjoy, you will feel it right away. Follow your passions and feel more balanced.
  2. Home time – when your home, spend some real time with your family. This means set some time aside for family time without taking calls/texts from work.
  3. Live in the here and now – people feel stressed when they focus on the past even though it’s gone and they worry about the future that isn’t here yet. Use your past to learn from and plan for your future but live in the here and now. Live in the moment!
  4. Set a long term goal (1 -5 years). Set up short term goals to reach that long term goal. Make both goals realistic. The key word is “Realistic”. If your goals aren’t realistic, you will feel overwhelmed and will procrastinate. If they are realistic, you will accomplish them and with each accomplishment you will feel a sense of positive reinforcement which will motivate you to move forward and reach your long term goals.
  5. NO- Learn to say no. Practice makes it easier. I wish there was another way around it but the truth is the more you say no, the easier it will get. I know a lot of people have a hard time saying no due to guilt or fear of hurting someone’s feelings but the truth is when you say YES but mean NO, you only hurt yourself. You becomes stressed and then angry at yourself. Learn to set boundaries by saying NO!

*Join Ingrid Prueher and Diane Lang for a Meet & Greet at Metro Mini’s in NYC: September 15 at 12:30. Ingrid and Diane will be answering Parenting questions and discussing their up coming Parenting workshop series at Metro Minis. The event is free – please register at 212-313-9600. 

Metro Minis *821 Park avenue *New York, NY

*Free Open House at Mystical World on Saturday, September 17 at 2pm

Come meet Diane and many other great healers.

Please register at 201-896-3999 * Mystical World, Lyndhurst, NJ

Ease your stress workshop – Monday, September 19 at 7pm

Learn tips/tools to relieve stress and feel more balanced.

Parsippany Adult school, Parsippany, NJ * Please register at 973-263-7180 ext 4342

What Kind of Smart are You?  Workshop – Thursday, September 22 at 7pm

Join me, take a personality test and find of your top strengths and how to use those strengths both at work and school. *Parsippany Adult school, Parsippany, NJ

Register at 973-263-7180 ext 4342

Free Workshop –Letting go of anger – Saturday, September 24 at 12pm – Suffern Public Library at 210 Lafayette Avenue, Suffern, Rockland County, NY. Please register at 845-357-1237

Happiness – Living an optimistic Lifestyle – Learn to live your best life!

Monday, September 26 at 7pm *Westfield Adult school, Westfield, NJ

Register at 908-232-4050

Positive Parent – Tuesday, September 27 at 7pm

Union County College, NJ

Register at 908-709-7601

For more information please visit Diane’s website at  or e-mail Diane at Lifeline36@aol.com.

So how do you create balance between work, school and home? Does your job or career bring you peace? How do you decompress to help decrease stress? All answers welcome. You never know who’ll benefit from what YOU have to say!

Looking ahead to Thursday: meet my good friend M. Kate Quinn. She’ll be discussing her road to publication and where she’s headed now that she’s ‘arrived.’ 

Until then TTFN,

Joanna

Learn WITH Your Child!

Hello everyone! Hope you all find yourselves well! Today my good friend Diane Lang extends her ‘Back to School’ tips by offering all of us ideas on being active supporters and facilitators when it comes to helping our children learn!

     

Encouraging your child to learn

Encourage conversation – extended conversations – keep asking the children questions, show interest with non-verbal communications like smiling, nodding the head and touch. Pat their arm or shoulder while they talk.

Encourage them to describe events in detail; let them express their emotions: Example – wow, you went to a horse farm – was it fun? What did you do there? What were the horses names? Were you excited?

Add new words with their meanings every week (i.e., “Word of the week”): use repetition to keep them from forgetting. Use real life sentences/examples so they understand. Use visuals.

Read out loud to kids – story/circle time – use books with pictures – kids are visual learners, they understand new words/stories when they can connect them with pictures

Ask kids open ended questions: let them be creative, make up their own stories, rhymes, jokes, songs, etc.

Encourage children to draw and write. Let them draw a picture and then write a story underneath. Then have them read the story back to you and ask questions. This shows your child that writing is fun!

Preparing for Back to School- August 24th  12-1:30 pm  FREE Workshop

Where: Whole Foods in Madison, NJ

Join Whole Foods Market Madison and Diane Lane, MA for tips and suggestion about the best way to prepare your child for the upcoming school year.   The end of summer break means no more going to bed late, sleeping late or playing outside till dark. This is the time when kids think new classrooms, teachers and friends.  Whether your child is starting pre-school or elementary school, it can still be an anxious time for both the kids and their parents. However if you prepare your child for school you can help sooth their nerves and have a smooth transition into the school year.  A complimentary light lunch will be served to all participants. Register via email at rcm.rsvp@wholefoods.com or call customer service at 973-822-8444

Be a positive parent – read my latest article on positive parenting tips!

FREE Meet & Greet Ingrid Prueher and Diane Lang!

When: Thursday, September 15, 2011 12:30 PM

Where: Metro Minis;821 Park Avenue,New York,NY10021

Join us for more information on our Parent Prep classes. Come meet us and ask questions about any parenting topics. We look forward to meet you!

Check out Savvy Mami website for more information:

SAVVY MAMI TV™ – BABY PLANNER, FAIRFIELD CT BABY PLANNER, MATERNITY CONCIERGE SERVICE.

Back to School–Already???

Best to be prepared, I guess. (Sigh.) 
Hello friends! Diane Lang is here with some tips to getting kiddies of all ages ready to start the new school year fresh! (Make sure to scroll down to the end; she links us to her latest positive parenting article and offers a free workshop for those in the NJ area. :))
     

Back to school is right around. Here are some tips to make the transition back to school smooth for both the kids and the parents.

*Start the school schedule a few weeks before school starts. Gradually get your kids back into their school routine. For my daughter, each week she goes to bed early until we get back to her school schedule.

*Get the kids ready by going school shopping together for their school supplies. Make sure your kids are involved. This will help them to feel involved and independent. You can have your kids pick out their backpacks, lunch bags, pencil bags, etc.

*Go to school and visit before school starts. This will allow your child to learn their new surroundings and to help them feel comfortable on their first day at school.  Most schools have a few days that are open for visitors for this purpose.

*Go to school and visit before school starts. This will allow your child to learn their new surroundings and to help them feel comfortable on their first day at school.  Most schools have a few days that are open for visitors for this purpose.

*Always talk positive about school. Kids listen more then we think. You are their role model, if they hear you talk negative it can change their perspective on school.

*If your kids are young, read them books about going to school. Let your child ask questions about school.

Remember, kids can feel anxiety about their first day of school as young as pre-school all the way through college. It’s normal. Make sure to be supportive of your child.

Diane will be offering live help here:  Free Workshop for Parents at Whole Foods in Madison, NJ

Preparing for Back to School: Wednesday, August 24th at 12:00-1:30 pm FREE

Join Whole Foods Market Madison and Diane Lane, MA for tips and suggestion about the best way to prepare your child for the upcoming school year.   The end of summer break means no more going to bed late, sleeping late or playing outside till dark. This is the time when kids think new classrooms, teachers and friends.  Whether your child is starting pre-school or elementary school, it can still be an anxious time for both the kids and the parents. However if you prepare your child for school you can help sooth their nerves and have a smooth transition into the school year.  A complimentary light lunch will be served to all participants. Register via email at rcm.rsvp@wholefoods.com or call customer service at 973-822-8444.

Positive Parent article: My latest article can be read at Natural Awakenings

For more information please visit Diane’s website at or e-mail Diane at Lifeline36@aol.com.

Diane Lang, MA

Positive Living Expert/Educator

http://www.dlcounseling.com

Please feel free to add any tips you think belong on this list. And, anyone who may have attended Diane’s workshops, please feel free to share about your experience(s)!

Thanks, Diane! Looking forward to you joining us again one week from today with tips about encouraging and supporting our children during the learning process!

Until next time folks,
Joanna